ANA swings to black in April-December

TOKYO (AP) — All Nippon Airways Co. pivoted back into the black in the April-December period as robust travel demand and cost cuts bolstered the carrier’s bottom line.

Japan’s No. 2 airline said Monday it booked a net profit of 37.54 billion yen ($457.4 million), compared with a loss of 35.2 billion yen during the same nine months last year.

Revenue rose more than 12 percent to 1.04 trillion yen. Operating profit came to 77.7 billion yen, a turnaround from an operating loss of 37.8 billion a year earlier.

The carrier, known as ANA, credited a strong rebound in business travel for bolstering revenue on international routes. Flights from the new international terminal at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, which opened in late October, also boosted business.

ANA reported healthy demand on its domestic routes. During peak travel periods, the company added extra flights and used larger aircraft to expand the number of seats.

Revenue from its international cargo services shot up 67 percent from the previous year, thanks to expanded shipments of liquid crystal and semiconductor components on Asian routes, ANA said. It also described trade on North American routes as “strong.”

The carrier said it expects a tough fourth quarter, warning of intensifying competition with other airlines and bullet trains, as well as ongoing concerns about the economy.

“Despite a gradual rebound in the Japanese economy, growth is flat and concerns over the steep rise in crude oil prices, a downturn in overseas economies and fluctuation in exchange rates also result in an uncertain outlook,” ANA said in its report.

Nonetheless, ANA maintained its earnings forecasts, saying it would continue with restructuring and cost cuts.

For the full fiscal year through March 31, it expects to book 6 billion yen in net profit on revenues of 1.38 trillion yen.

The company released earnings after financial markets closed. Its stock fell 1.3 percent to 301 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, largely in line with a 1.1 percent decline in the benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average.

ANA reports earnings are based on Japanese accounting standards.

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