JAL lifts full-year outlook despite fall in nine-month profits

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Japan Airlines Group operating profits slipped 13% at the nine-month stage to Y137 billion ($1.34 billion) as costs rose faster than revenues, but it has lifted its full-year outlook.

The Oneworld carrier group’s operating revenues rose 5% to Y989 billion over the April-December 2013 period, while costs were nearly 9% higher at Y852 billion.

The group’s net profits at the nine-month stage are 17% lower than the same period last year, at Y123.5 billion.

Despite the lower nine-month figure, JAL has lifted its outlook for the financial year ending in March. It now foresees full-year operating profit being Y3 billion higher than envisaged three months ago, at Y158 billion. This is based on revenues being Y5 billion higher than originally thought at Y1,291 billion due to strong demand on international routes, outstripping the Y2 billion in extra costs it now forecasts.

JAL has lifted its outlook for full-year net profits by Y20 billion to Y147 billion, in part due to an improving operating performance, but largely due to a tax gain of Y15 billion.