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West Japan Railway Co. reported an unconsolidated pretax profit of 24.1 billion yen for the first half of fiscal 1999, up 0.4 percent from the same period last year, company officials said Friday.

During the April-September period, its operating profit decreased 2.8 percent from the same period last year to 55.2 billion yen, on sales of 444.9 billion yen, down 3.4 percent from the previous year.

The company attributed the profit decline to reduced income from tickets sales for bullet trains and other passenger trains.

JR West’s net profit, however, rose 72.4 percent from the same period last year to 15.6 billion yen, due to a change in accounting methods, they said.

JR West plans to spend a total of 10 billion yen — including 2.2 billion yen spent during the current period — by the end of March to repair tunnels. The amount will not affect the firm’s business results for the full year, they said, noting that the company usually allocates 2 billion yen for its annual repair budget.

On a consolidated basis, the company posted a pretax profit of 25.3 billion yen for the first half of fiscal 1999, an operating profit of 59.3 billion yen, and a net profit of 14.3 billion yen.

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