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ANA, JAL net profit falls in April-June on higher fuel costs

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's two largest airlines both reported falls in their group net profits Tuesday for the April-June quarter, citing higher fuel costs and more investment in safety and system updates.

    In the first quarter of the current business year, ANA Holdings Inc., the parent company of All Nippon Airways Co., saw its group net profit dive 68.5 percent to 16.11 billion yen ($144.52 million).

    ANA's consolidated operating profit fell 21.1 percent to 20.08 billion yen, on sales of 484.89 billion yen, up 7.3 percent.

    Demand for ANA international flights was steady as Japan continued to attract travelers from China and other countries in Asia, but it said higher fuel prices, labor costs and more expenditures to improve the quality of services weighed on its business performance.

    "We are investing for the future," Senior Vice President Ichiro Fukuzawa said at a press conference.

    ANA carried 2.51 million passengers on its international flights, generating revenue of 156.2 billion yen, up 12.0 percent.

    Japan Airlines Co. said its consolidated operating profit in the three months through June 30 rose 0.7 percent from a year earlier to 24.93 billion yen, on sales of 342.10 billion yen, up 8.7 percent, as it also saw strong demand for its international flights.

    But its group net profit fell 10.3 percent to 17.55 billion yen, partly because of costs to renew its passenger service system.

    JAL's international flight revenue rose 18.2 percent to 124.8 billion yen, with its number of international travelers rising 10.5 percent to 2.25 million passengers.

    ANA and JAL left unchanged their group net profit forecasts for the full year. JAL projects a 110 billion yen profit, down 18.8 percent from the previous year, while ANA expects 102 billion yen, down 29.1 percent.

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