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Japan trader Sumitomo Corp books record April-Dec profit, lifts full-year outlook

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TOKYO, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp booked a 127 percent jump in April-December profit amid stronger metals prices and lifted its annual income outlook by 7 percent to a record thanks to expected gains from a U.S. corporate tax cut.

Sumitomo is now forecasting a record net profit of 300 billion yen ($2.7 billion), up from its previous guidance of 280 billion yen and beating a mean estimate of 288 billion yen among 7 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

It also increased its annual dividend outlook to 60 yen per share from its previous estimate of 56 yen and last year's 50 yen.

April-December net profit more than doubled to a record 252.9 billion yen, following similar upbeat results from peers Mitsubishi Corp, Mitsui & Co Ltd, Itochu Corp , Marubeni Corp and Sojitz Corp.

"(Higher profits were) backed by a rally in the metals market," Hiroyuki Sugai, general manager at Sumitomo, told a news conference.

He added that profits were also buoyed by the company's operations in leasing, construction machinery sales, media and real estate.

Higher profits from steel piping reflected an increase in the U.S. oil rig count, he said,

($1 = 109.6000 yen) (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi)