By Kosaku Narioka

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group's annual net profit rose to an all-time high, supported by higher fees and commissions and wider lending spreads.

The Japanese financial company said Wednesday that net profit increased 34% to a record of 1.491 trillion yen ($9.53 billion) for the year ended March.

Net fees and commissions rose 8.1% to Y1.681 trillion.

Net interest income--the difference between interest paid on deposits and that earned on loans--dropped 15% to Y2.458 trillion due to the sale of its U.S. banking unit in December 2022 and the absence of certain special gains booked the previous fiscal year, it said. Excluding these, underlying net interest income increased from the previous year as lending spreads widened at home and abroad.

Japanese government bond yields have been climbing in recent months as the country's central bank unwound most of its unorthodox easing measures, including its negative interest-rate policy.

Fourth-quarter net profit was Y192.87 billion, given net profit of Y1.298 trillion in the preceding nine months, according to a Wall Street Journal calculation. That beat the estimate of Y138.6 billion from a poll of analysts by data provider Visible Alpha.

Mitsubishi UFJ booked lower credit costs and narrower losses on debt securities for the year ended March.

For the year that began in April, Mitsubishi UFJ targets net profit of Y1.500 trillion. The company will buy back up to Y100.0 billion of its shares by the end of June, it said.

Write to Kosaku Narioka at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-15-24 0604ET