• Kyodo

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The combined net profit of companies listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section dropped 43.6% in the April-September period from a year earlier, as airlines and railway operators took a hit from the coronavirus pandemic, security house data showed Monday.

While profits at online shopping operators and electronic components makers grew during the first half, 20.9% of surveyed companies incurred net losses, according to SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.’s data.

The air transport sector logged a net loss of ¥349.7 billion ($3.3 billion) in the six-month period as stay-at-home requests aimed at curbing novel coronavirus infections dented travel demand.

ANA Holdings Inc., the parent company of All Nippon Airways Co., last week reported a net loss of ¥188.4 billion for the first half through September.

“The outlook for the current year is very severe” and the impact of the pandemic was stronger than expected, ANA President and CEO Shinya Katanozaka said at a news conference.

People’s reluctance to travel also affected land transportation, including railway companies, with a net loss of ¥471.7 billion. Automakers and other transportation equipment manufacturers also reported net losses for the April-September period.

The government declared a state of emergency over the virus in early April and the declaration was fully lifted in late May.

A bright spot was the electronics manufacturing sector, with demand for digital equipment rising as people stayed at home. Electronics and entertainment giant Sony Corp. said its net profit doubled to ¥692.8 billion thanks to strong demand for game software and subscription services.

The information and communications technology sector saw its net profit rise 1.8% to ¥570.6 billion, on the back of increased online shopping and remote working.

The data were based on earnings for the first half through September reported by 484, or 33.1%, of the companies listed on the TSE’s first section.

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