UPDATE 1-Sumitomo warns of further write-down on energy, iron ore assets

martes 3 de febrero de 2015 03:30 GYT

* Warning follows surprise write-downs forecast in Sept

* Annual profit estimate unchanged at $85 mln

* Non-resource businesses doing well - CFO (Adds quote, details on write-downs, background)

TOKYO, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp warned on Tuesday that it may take additional impairment losses on its energy and metal assets due to slumping oil and iron ore prices, although its annual profit forecast remained unchanged.

The warning came after its surprise forecast in September last year that it would write-down about 240 billion yen ($2.05 billion) in the value of its assets, mainly in energy and metals.

Like international oil majors and mining companies, Japan's trading companies have been caught flat-footed by the rout in commodities, with oil down more than 50 percent and copper falling about 23 percent since the middle of last year.

"We may need to take an additional write-down on some of our stakes in resource assets due to falling prices of oil and other commodities. But we are keeping our full-year profit forecast as our non-resource businesses are doing well," Sumitomo Chief Financial Officer Hiroyuki Inohara told an earnings news conference.

Inohara said the company might book an impairment loss on its stake in a North Sea oil project and its share of the Marcellus shale gas project in the United States.

The company might also take an additional write-down in the value of its stake in a U.S. shale oil venture and a Brazilian iron ore operation, he added. Sumitomo said in September it would suffer a hefty impairment loss from the Brazilian project.   Continuación...