Japan Airlines Swings To Larger-Than-Expected Y63bn Net Loss

TOKYO (Nikkei)–Japan Airlines Corp. on Tuesday reported a group net loss of 63 billion yen for the year ended March 31, considerably larger than the 34 billion yen in red ink it had been projecting as recently as February.

The loss was attributed to a greater-than-anticipated decline in passenger demand coupled with sluggish international cargo shipments. Group revenue tumbled 13% from the prior year to 1.95 trillion yen, 27 billion yen short of earlier projections. On an operating basis, the company fell 51 billion yen into the red, compared with an operating profit of 90 billion yen in fiscal 2007.

The net loss also reflects the booking of stock valuation losses and the postponement of stock sales. Japan Airlines posted a net profit of 16.9 billion yen in the prior fiscal year.

Regarding possible loans from the Development Bank of Japan to help the air carrier improve its financing, executive director Yoshimasa Kaneyama explained that negotiations are ongoing but no concrete figures or timetable have been decided. He also said that Japan Airlines is not currently looking at utilizing a program that injects government funds into companies.

(The Nikkei April 29 edition)

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