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Japan Airlines Co. reported 27.8 billion yen in operating profits on an unconsolidated basis for the first half of fiscal 1998, down 24.4 percent from the same period of the previous year, due to the downward trend of air fares, the officials announced on Friday.For the April-September period JAL posted 18.3 billion yen in net profits, down 9.1 percent from the previous year, and 29.3 billion yen in pretax profits on sales of 615.1 billion yen, down 2.8 percent from the previous year.JAL expects to post 16 billion yen in pretax profits and 10 billion yen in net profits for the full business year that will end next March. The carrier plans to offer a 3 yen dividend per share at the end of the current business year, which will be the company’s first dividend since March 1992.As a way to further cut costs, JAL plans to slash its workforce by about 2,300 by the end of fiscal 2001, revising upward its earlier planned cut of some 1,500, they said.

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