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Three top Japanese oil wholesalers see earnings recovery

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Three major Japanese oil wholesalers saw their earnings recover sharply in April-December last year, as higher crude oil and other resource prices pushed up the evaluation of their inventories, according to their latest earnings reports.

A signboard of Idemitsu Kosan Co is seen in Tokyo, Japan, August 15, 2016

The recovery came after their earnings deteriorated a year before due a plunge in crude oil prices amid the pandemic.

Eneos Holdings Inc.’s group net profit grew around fivefold to ¥331.8 billion, with its sales expanding 42.2% to ¥7.63 trillion.

Cosmo Energy Holdings Co. saw its net profit jump just under fivefold to ¥79.9 billion. Its sales stood at ¥1.75 trillion, up 11.3%.

Idemitsu Kosan Co., which incurred a net loss a year before, logged a net profit of ¥199.9 billion, on sales of ¥4.65 trillion, up 44.7%.

“We logged substantial earnings growth thanks to rises in crude oil and other resource prices,” an Idemitsu Kosan official said.

But oil wholesalers need to reform their business structures that depend heavily on oil, as demand for gasoline and other fuel oil is declining due chiefly to the growing prevalence of electrified vehicles.

“We would like to achieve growth by meeting the needs of society through environment-friendly businesses,” Eneos Holdings Executive Vice President Takeshi Saito, who will become president of the company on April 1, said at an online news conference on Thursday.

Takayuki Uematsu, a top Cosmo Energy Holdings executive, has said that the company plans to strengthen its offshore wind power generation business.

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