UPDATE 2-Japan's Sumitomo warns of first annual loss in 16 years

miércoles 25 de marzo de 2015 08:46 GYT

* Forecasts net loss of 85 bln yen for year to March 31

* Says expects 230 bln yen net profit in 2015/16

* To cut resource investment to 10 pct of spending from 40 pct (Adds details of investment plan, President quotes)

By Yuka Obayashi

TOKYO, March 25 (Reuters) - Japan's Sumitomo Corp warned it would post its first annual loss in 16 years in the financial year ending this month, hit by a slump in commodities prices that forced it to cut its investment plans for its energy and metals businesses.

The trading house said on Wednesday that it expected a net loss of 85 billion yen ($711 million) for the current year that ends on March 31, missing its own - already lowered - forecast of a 10 billion yen net profit.

The loss would be the first since the 1998/99 financial year, and the widest since the company was hit by $2.6 billion in losses from illegal copper trades in 1996/97.

But Japan's fifth-largest trading house said it expected to return to profit in the new financial year, on the back of higher income from non-natural resources operations such as car sales and power generation.

Under a new three-year business plan unveiled on Wednesday, Sumitomo forecast 230 billion yen in net profit for 2015/16 and more than 300 billion yen in 2017/18.   Continuación...