Three major Japan Railway carriers Thursday reported record consolidated sales and pretax profits for fiscal 2005, led by strong demand for bullet train and conventional rail line travel, despite fatal train accidents involving two of them.
East Japan Railway Co. and Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) also logged record group net profits, but West Japan Railway Co. saw a 21 percent decline in net profit as the Osaka-based railway posted an extraordinary loss related to last April’s derailment of a Fukuchiyama Line train in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, that killed 107 people and injured more than 500.
JR East’s pretax profit during the April-March period jumped 29.4 percent from the previous year to 274.7 billion yen, while net profit surged 41.2 percent to 157.6 billion yen.
The Tokyo-based carrier logged 2.6 trillion yen in sales, up 2.2 percent from a year earlier, and 396 billion yen in operating profit, up 10.5 percent.
The company’s net profit, pretax profit and sales were at record highs mainly thanks to brisk demand on conventional lines and brisk sales at newly opened commercial complexes, including the one inside JR Shinagawa Station.
The impact of the December fatal derailment on the JR Uetsu Line in Yamagata Prefecture totaled some 1.3 billion yen for the year that ended March 31.
The combined costs for recovering from the accident and for providing passengers with alternative bus transport came to some 900 million yen, and the carrier suffered a 300 million yen loss in revenue from suspended services.
JR Tokai reported a record consolidated pretax profit of 213.4 billion yen for fiscal 2005, up 49.9 percent from the previous year and a 27.4 percent rise in net profit of 122.4 billion yen, also a record high.
The Nagoya-based carrier attributed the strong performance to the rise in the number of passengers on the Tokaido Shinkansen Line thanks to the World Exposition in Aichi Prefecture that ran to September.
JR West reported a consolidated net profit of 46.5 billion yen for the fiscal year, down 21 percent from the previous year mainly due to an extraordinary loss of 4.2 billion yen that stemmed from the Fukuchiyama Line train crash.