JAL predicts 20 billion yen pretax loss

Blaming a recent sharp rise in fuel prices, Japan Airlines on Mar. 7 revised its forecast and said it would post a pretax loss of 20 billion yen in the 1996 business year that ends this month.

The company last October estimated that it would post 1.18 trillion yen in total revenues and no pretax profit or loss in the current business year. It also predicted that it would post 1 billion yen in net profit.

According to the revised figures, the company will post total revenues of 1.19 trillion yen but record a pretax loss of 20 billion yen. Its net loss will total 14 billion yen, the company said.

The company officials said a 26 percent rise in fuel costs forced the airline to revise the forecast. The yen’s recent decline against the dollar is also another factor that squeezed its profits. It will be JAL’s first pretax loss since the 1993 business year, when it posted a pretax loss of 26.1 billion yen.