Hereunder, we announce our latest estimates of the Company's business performance for the first-half period (January 1 - June 30) of the fiscal 2009 business term.

Estimates of Business Performance for FY2009 First Half


Explanation of Estimates

In view of the difficulty in predicting the direction of demand for the Company's products or of raw materials prices during the current term, we decided not to issue a forecast for the first-half period. The estimates given above are based on our unofficial compilation of gas sales volume and raw materials prices during the fiscal 2009 first half.
Overall sales for the first half are expected to post a year-on-year decrease of 0.5%. Although gas unit selling prices rose, reflecting the increase in selling prices implemented in the previous business term under the official gas rate adjustment system, the volume of gas sold (including LPG) has declined, primarily due to weakening industrial demand against the backdrop of the economic downturn. Meanwhile, as the cost of sales is expected to post a decrease on the back of the smaller gas sales volume and the decline in raw materials prices, operating income is expected to record a substantial year-on-year increase.
Regarding business performance forecasts for the fiscal 2009 full term, ending December 31, 2009, we are currently engaged in calculating the impact of the recent rise in the price of crude oil, and intend to announce the full-term forecasts on August 6, simultaneously with the announcement of the interim accounts settlement.