All Nippon Airways Co. said Friday its net profit for its 2006 business year jumped 22.2 percent from the previous year to 32.6 billion yen.

Japan’s No. 2 carrier attributed the strong performance in the year to March 31 to brisk demand for business seats on both domestic and international flights and fewer one-time losses stemming from the sales of fixed assets.

Despite higher fuel prices, ANA’s operating profit rose 3.8 percent year-on-year to a record 92.1 billion yen, while sales increased 8.8 percent to a record 1.49 trillion yen.

Sales were at their highest levels for three consecutive years, while operating profit rose to a record high for the second straight year.

Rising oil prices forced ANA to pay 55.8 billion yen more for fuel in the 2006 business year over the previous year, but brisk demand for flights and a fare hike for its domestic flights more than offset the cost increase, the carrier said.

Passenger numbers on ANA’s domestic flights surged 22 percent during the period, thanks to the popularity of a new discount ticket program that began last April.

The airline carried 10.1 percent more passengers on its international flights in 2006 than the prior year as it expanded its overseas network. ANA began serving the Tokyo-Chicago route and increased the number of flights to destinations in China in the last calendar year.

For the current business year, ANA expects its net profit to almost double from 2006 to a record 64 billion yen.

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