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(May 24, 2001) TOKYO -- Even though the Japanese economy is showing only modest signs of recovery, Dentsu Inc.'s consolidated billings, gross profit and net income all reached all-time highs in fiscal 2000.

The Japan-based agency reported consolidated billings up 13.4% year-on-year to $14.7 billion, as well as a gross profit of $2.4 billion (a 16.2% increase). Operating income grew 43.7% to $0.59 billion, while ordinary income of $0.58 billion was up 44.7%. Net income, meanwhile, rose 99.8% to $0.33 billion.

In the same period, Japan's gross domestic product expanded by 1.2% in real terms. Although personal consumption remained weak, ad expenditures increased sharply, driven primarily by information technology-related investment and improved corporate earnings.

Ad expenditures in Japan for the 2000 calendar year also posted a new high, with year-on-year growth of 7.2%. -- Normandy Madden

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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