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Mired in gloomy economic conditions, three JR group companies projected declining sales conditions Friday for the upcoming fiscal year.

East Japan Railway Co. expects 1.91 trillion yen in sales in its business plan for fiscal 1999, which would mark a third consecutive year of declining sales.

Likewise, Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) and West Japan Railway Co. expect falling sales for fiscal 1999 due to declining transport revenues during the continuing severe economic conditions.

The three carriers submitted their business plans for fiscal 1999 to the transport minister for approval. JR East estimates 59 billion yen in net profit and 104 billion yen in pretax profit. The carrier expects transport revenues to decline by 38.7 billion yen to 1.68 trillion yen from its initial plan for the current business year, which ends March 31.

JR Tokai estimates 39.7 billion yen in net profit compared with an earlier estimated 1.09 trillion yen, down 32.2 billion yen. JR West expects sales to drop to 896.2 billion yen, down 56.3 billion yen, while generating 25.2 billion yen in net profit.

Meanwhile, the three carriers plan to invest 488 billion yen on plants and equipment in fiscal 1999, down 11 billion yen from the current business year. JR East, however, will keep its investment level the same as in the previous year — about 228 billion yen.

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