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Maruha Nichiro Starts Salmon Can's 100th Year Anniversary Campaign

May 13, 2010

Commemorating the 100th year anniversary of its salmon can, Maruha Nichiro Foods just began "Akebono Salmon 100th Year Anniversary: Thank You Campaign" on May 1; the campaign includes, but not limited to, "Four-day three-night trip to Hokkaido."

The first prize of "Four-day three-night trip to Hokkaido" (a pair) contains air travel to Hokkaido, a stay at ANA Hotel Kushiro (corner twin room) on the first night, and another stay at Windsor Hotel International in Doyako on the second and third night (junior suite). The trip also offers a course meal of rare young salmon and spa treatment; and experiences to catch salmon by hands and make salmon flakes and salmon roe. The trip is worth a grand total of \1 million.

100 of those who were not chosen for the luxurious trip to Hokkaido will be given the second prize "Replica of Benizake Can (2 pack; not for sale)" (replica of sockeye salmon can).

How you can get a chance to win: send a postcard with your address, name, age, gender, phone number, and an answer to a pop quiz, to the address: "100th Year Brand: Akebono Sake" Campaign Office, PO Box 21, Shin Tokyo Office, Japan Post Group, 137-8799.

The pop quiz is to find missing letters or numbers in the next sentence: "It is the ???th year since the birth of Akebono Salmon." It must be postmarked by June 30.

The original article was published on May 13, 2010 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Nichirei, Specializing in Frozen and Processed Marine Foods, Acquires Four European Chilled Transpiration Companies

May 13, 2010

Nichirei (President Toshiaki Murai) is slated to acquire chilled transportation companies in Europe. Nichirei Logistics Group Inc. (100% Nichirei capital; managed by President Murai), which runs logistics operations for Nichirei Group, has its subsidiary in Europe called Nichirei Holding Holland B.V. (NHH). NHH signed an agreement (a wholly owned subsidiary contract) on May 11 to purchase four chilled transportation companies affiliated with Holding GLB S.A. and Holding TCG S.A., both located in France. The transfer of company shares will be executed late June.

NHH Group operates businesses in Holland, Germany, and Poland. Targeted companies for this acquisition effort have based their cold storage and transportation operations in Northern France. With the acquisitions, NHH Group has an aim to expand its business operations to not only France, but the western part of Europe. According to President Murai, the acquisitions got okayed because "[they] will help strengthen the business base of NHH Group and also expand its operations in Europe."

NHH is to purchase the affiliated companies of Holding GLB S.A. and Holding TCG S.A. for ?15 million (approx. \2 billion). Thereafter, real estate leased by the target enterprises from those two companies will be bought out for ?9 million (approx. \1.2 billion).

The target companies of the acquisitions are:
1)TRANSPORTS GODFROY S.A.S.(capital of €152,000; transportation services throughout France)
2)ENTREPOTS GODFROY S.A.S.(capital of €7,000; storage of goods collected from producers in the westernpart of France)
3)ENTREPOTS Del`OCEAN S.A.S.(capital of €600,000; storage of imported goods landed at Le Havre)
4)ENTREPOTS DU PLATEAU S.A.S.(capital of €386,000; storage of imported goods landed at Rotterdam, Antwerp,and Le Havre)

The original article was published on May 13, 2010 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Daito Gyorui, One of Leading Tsukiji Wholesalers, Posts 3% Drop in Consolidated Sales

May 12, 2010

Daito Gyorui President Hideki Kamo spoke on May 11 at the press meeting on the company's business report for the year ended March 2010: "We got beaten by increased sales and general administrative expenses, like transpiration and storage fees." The company's consolidated net sales fell 3 percentage points year over year. Operating profit also contracted 23.5 percent to \234 million.

President Kamo said, "If I have to pinpoint a factor that needs improvement, it is the increased sales and general administrative expenses. Though it was a strategic move, we held a large volume of inventory, creating incurred expenses, such as a storage fee. For this fiscal year, we will diminish an amount of inventory to cut down on expenses. Also, we want to borrow less." The company plans for the operating profit of \330 million, an increase of 41 percent.

In contrast, the consolidated net sales for the current financial term is projected to be a fall of 1.8 percent, compared to the previous year. The President of the company stated: "We are projecting that unit prices will move horizontally or show a slight upward trend; but transaction volume will be less. Fish varieties that exhibited a growth during the first half, we are giving them a conservative budget this year."

Regarding performances of consolidated subsidiaries, Executive Managing Director Hiromi Kunishi said, "Other than Tsukiji Fresh Maruto, which produces and sells processed foods, our subsidiaries tend to see sales dwindling; nonetheless each company keeps earning solid profits."

The President mentioned mid and long term strategies: "At present, we are formulating a midterm business plan and a related action plan. In order to deal with structural issues that wholesale markets are facing, like a shrinking rate of transactions through wholesale markets, we need to pay more attention to the outside of the markets and foster human resources and work with shippers and regional markets. The company also will focus on salted-dried products."

The original article was published on May 12, 2010 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Frozen and Marine Foods Maker, Nichirei Indicates 11% Increase in Operating Profit Despite Reduced Sales

May 12, 2010

Nichirei posted its financial settlement for the year ended March 2010, indicating decreased revenue and increased income. Its net sales tumbled 7.7 percent to \438.1 billion, in comparison with the previous fiscal year; operating earnings increased 11 percent to \16.8 billion; ordinary profit also grew 9 percentage points to \15.4 billion; and the company reported a net profit of \9 billion, an increase of 50 percent. A drastic rise in the net profit was attributable to no reported losses generated by changes to the lease accounting standard, as \1.7 billion posted last year, and a profit from a business transfer of acelora operation.

By business segment, Processed Foods posted reduced revenue and improved profit. Though a Chinese potsticker scandal died down, slacked consumer activities due to a dwindling economy and plunges in commodity prices resulted in diminished sales. In contrast, operating income exceeded the previous year's result thanks to lower raw material costs. Net sales added up to \162 billion, down 7 percent. Its operating profit rose 27 percent, totaling \2.6 billion. Prepared frozen foods for home use performed well; however, professional grade processed chicken products struggled.

Marine Products, despite a 12 percent fall in sales to \67.2 billion, reported a remarkable 225 percent increase in operating earnings to \893 million from the last year's result of \275 million. This accomplishment was made possible by boldly narrowing down its product lineup and putting more energy into differentiated products mainly of shrimp. This segment put its top goal to get out of the red for a few years. President Toshiaki Murai said, "This segment generated profits for two years in a row, and it is now in the stable phase.

Overseas Logistics Operations Directly Hit by Weakened Euro

Logistics marked drops in revenue and proceeds. Its net sales contracted 2.3 percent to \139 billion and operating earnings amounted to \7.9 billion, down 4.2 percent. Domestic operations, Logistics Network Business and Regional Storage Business, both pulled off profit increases due to relocation to a newly constructed distribution center; overseas operations however had to swallow dramatic declines in revenue and profit as a result of a lackluster economy of Europe and the weaker Euro (stronger yen).

Operation in Europe (Holland, Germany, and Poland), due to the worldwide economic downturn, witnessed reduced transportation and custom clearance operations in the western part of Europe. Moreover, in addition to plummets in unit prices affected by encroaching transportation companies from the East Europe, the transaction volume of resin films for juice and industrial uses shrank. President Murai commented: "A rate of Euro was 20 percent lower than estimated."

The original article was published on May 12, 2010 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

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