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JAL says annual net profit down at $1.8 bn, cuts outlook

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Japan Airlines said Tuesday its net profit in the fiscal year to March fell 8.0 percent to $1.8 billion, while it slashed its full-year earnings outlook by almost a third.

JAL, which re-listed in Tokyo last year after a high-profile bankruptcy restructuring, reported a net profit of 171.7 billion yen and said its earnings in the current fiscal year would be about 31 percent lower at 118 billion yen.

Sales rose 2.8 percent to 1.24 trillion yen in the 12 months to the end of March, it added.

JAL said it was "trying to minimise" the financial impact from the three-month grounding of Boeing's Dreamliner, and said its results were hit by rising competition and soaring oil prices.

The carrier and rival All Nippon Airways (ANA), which also reports its full-year results Tuesday, account for half of the 50 Dreamliners in service globally and had to cancel thousands of flights in the wake of the crisis.

The fleet was grounded in January after a number of battery incidents including a fire on a JAL plane in Boston and an emergency landing on an ANA flight in Japan.

Following months of investigations into the plane's lithium-ion batteries, US authorities on Thursday issued formal approval of Boeing's battery fix, followed by a similar move by Japanese regulators.

Ethiopian Airlines on Saturday become the first carrier to start using the aircraft again, while ANA ran a test flight in Japan with top executives from the carrier and Boeing aboard.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130430/jal-says-annual-net-profit-down-at-18-bn-cuts-outlook-0