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ANA reports first net profit in 10 quarters

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan’s biggest airline ANA yesterday posted a quarterly net profit for the first time in two and a half years as the sector recovers from the financial pain of the pandemic.

The relaxation of COVID-19 measures in Japan and various other countries increased demand for domestic and international travel, ANA said, with a cheaper yen also providing a boost.

In April-June, the company logged a net profit of JPY1 billion (USD7.6 million), following nine consecutive quarters of losses beginning in January-March 2020, when the virus started to cause havoc worldwide.

However, it was still only around a tenth of the airline’s net profit in April-June 2019, when Japanese tourism was booming.

Although fuel prices and other expenses were higher, “disciplined cost management” and efforts to rein in fixed costs led to a “significant improvement” in profitability, ANA said.

Revenue for the first quarter was up 76 per cent on-year at JPY350 billion, but the airline still suffered an operating loss and maintained its annual net profit forecast of JPY21 billion.

Rival Japan Airlines (JAL) yesterday logged a net loss of JPY19.56 billion for April-June, but echoed ANA in saying demand for flights was recovering as pandemic restrictions eased.

“There still exists various uncertain external environments including the Russia-Ukraine situation or price hike of raw materials including fuel,” JAL warned.

The carrier kept its full-year net profit estimate at JPY45 billion, unchanged from the previous quarter.

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