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JAL nine-month profit drops 12%, boosts full-year forecast

Japan Airlines said Friday its nine-month net profit dropped 12.2 per cent to $1.2 billion owing to higher operating costs, but the carrier boosted its full-year earnings forecast.

TOKYO: Japan Airlines said Friday its nine-month net profit dropped 12.2 per cent to $1.2 billion owing to higher operating costs, but the carrier boosted its full-year earnings forecast.

Net profit for April to December came in at 123.5 billion yen on sales of 989.9 billion yen, up 5.1 per cent from a year earlier.

The airline said it now expects to earn 148 billion yen in the fiscal year to March, up from an earlier forecast of 128 billion yen.

The company said its bottom line had been hit by a jump in operating expenses.

It did not elaborate, but a sharp drop in the yen since late 2012, while giving a boost to Japanese exporters, has hurt its airlines by pushing up the cost of fuel, often a carrier's single-biggest expense.

JAL and its domestic rival All Nippon Airways, which also reports its financial results Friday, were hit by the worldwide grounding of Boeing's next generation aircraft.

Both companies are Boeing's biggest customer for the the state-of-the-art plane.

Japan's thorny ties with neighbours also depressed demand for flights to South Korea and China.

Tokyo is embroiled in separate territorial spats with both countries.

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