All Nippon Airways Co. reported 10 billion yen in unconsolidated net profit for the first half of fiscal 1998, up 68.2 percent from the same period the previous year, the carrier announced Thursday.For the April-September period, ANA reported 6 billion yen in operating profit, down 48.8 percent from the previous year, and 23.7 billion yen in pretax profit on 468.5 billion yen in sales, up 0.3 percent from a year before.Domestic sales dropped by 3.1 billion yen compared with the first half of fiscal 1997, due to a decline in average per-passenger air fares, the officials said. Similarly, the international average of per-passenger air fares dropped due to a decline in first- and business-class customers and more travelers flying economy, the officials said.The average international air fare per passenger dropped 13 percent from the same period of the previous year, they said. ANA expects the downtrend will continue for the second half of fiscal 1998 due in part to the entry of new cut-rate carriers such as Skymark Airlines Co. and Hokkaido International Airlines.ANA revised its previous forecast for unconsolidated sales down 3 percent to 918.1 billion yen for the full business year ending next March and estimates 6.9 billion yen in net losses for the year.

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