TOKYO • Japan's top airline by passenger numbers, All Nippon Airlines, upgraded its full-year forecasts yesterday as profits soared to new records due to solid demand.
Parent company ANA Holdings said net profits for the first half-year from April to September had more than doubled from a year earlier to a record 118.4 billion yen (S$1.4 billion).
However, this rise was mainly due to income gained from integrating budget carrier Peach Aviation onto its books as well as a strong performance in international passenger and cargo services.
ANA has soared in recent years, booking an all-time-high net profit for the last fiscal year on gains in its international business.
By putting Peach under its umbrella, ANA - which also controls budget carrier Vanilla Air - is aiming to grab a bigger portion of Japan's low-cost carrier market, analysts said. ANA increased its stake in Peach in April and it currently holds a 67 per cent share in the budget carrier.
For the first six months to September, operating profits jumped 28.5 per cent to a record 115.1 billion yen on sales of 985 billion yen - also a record number and an 11.3 per cent gain.
The record figures were thanks to "a strong operating performance" in its international passenger and cargo services, it said.
The firm also revised its full-year net profit forecast to a record 132 billion yen for the current year to March 2018 from a previous estimate of 125 billion yen.
Earlier this week, rival Japan Airlines also upgraded its full-year forecast as it booked a modest gain in half-year net profits thanks to solid domestic and international sales.