Japanese carrier ANA soars to record profit

01/02/2018 | 307 words

Japanese giant All Nippon Airlines on Thursday posted record profits for the nine months to December thanks to solid demand, but stuck to its full-year forecast.

Parent company ANA Holdings said net profits for the April-December period soared 76.7 percent from a year earlier to 152.96 billion yen ($1.4 billion).

Operating profit rose 27.4 percent to 165.97 billion yen, as sales grew 11.9 percent to a record 1.49 trillion yen.

"Amid gradual economic recovery, sales increased chiefly in our passenger flight business," ANA, the country's top airline by passenger numbers, said in a statement.

The rise in net profit was largely due to income gained from integrating budget carrier Peach Aviation as well as a strong performance in international and domestic passenger flight services.

Business demand was particularly sound in passenger services, the firm said.

It kept its full-year net profit forecast at 132 billion yen for the current year to March.

ANA Holdings has soared in recent years, booking an all-time high net profit for the last fiscal year on gains in its international business.

By bringing Peach under its umbrella, ANA -- which also controls budget carrier Vanilla Air -- is aiming to grab a bigger portion of Japan's low-cost market, analysts say.

ANA increased its stake in Peach in April and currently holds a 67-percent share.

The earnings came a day after rival Japan Airlines reported a 5.4-percent rise in net profit thanks to brisk sales at home and overseas.

Domestic flight prices have bottomed out recently on the back of a recovery in demand, and the focus now is "whether airlines can pass on rising oil prices to passengers", Nomura Securities analyst Masaharu Hirokane said ahead of the earnings reports.

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