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TOKYO, May 15 (Reuters) - Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) reported on Monday a 9.3 percent rise in net profit for the year ended in March, thanks mostly to the absence of hefty provisions booked in the previous year.
Japan's third-largest lender by assets said net profit came in at 706.5 billion yen ($6.22 billion) for the year ended in March, up from 646.7 billion yen a year earlier, when it booked 120 billion yen in provisions for its consumer finance unit.
The results compare with the 704.1 billion yen average estimate of 15 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters and SMFG's own forecast for a 700 billion profit.
SMFG and rival Japanese banks are struggling to reverse a weak domestic lending business, which was dealt a further blow when the Bank of Japan introduced a negative interest rate policy last year.
For the year ending in March 2018, the bank forecast net profit of 630 billion yen, below an average estimate of 688.8 billion yen by 15 analysts. ($1 = 113.5600 yen) (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)