TOKYO — A majority of Japan's big companies last year boosted their earnings from financial dealings, including the sale of securities, the receipt of interest and dividends and foreign exchange gains, Japan's Wako Research Institute said Monday.
Wako said 329 companies, or 50.6% of the 650 companies that have so far released earnings reports for the year ended March 31, had such non-operating profits, known here as zaitech . The organization is the arm of Wako Securities Co.
Several companies, including Sony Corp., Sanyo Electric Co. and Victor Co., reported higher earnings from such dealings apart from their regular operations, which have been hit hard by the adverse impact of the strong yen.
The higher yen reduces earnings from foreign units whose sales are derived from weaker currencies. It also causes Japanese companies to lower their prices to remain competitive on world markets, which reduces profit margins on exports.
Meanwhile, Japan has been riding the crest of its biggest stock market boom and rising bond prices as interest rates have fallen. Companies that have put excess cash to work in the financial markets have benefited strongly.
Toyota Motor Corp. had the highest financial income ($1.12 billion at the Monday exchange rate), followed by Mitsubishi Corp. with $328 million and Sony with $277 million, it said.