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West Japan Railway Co. logged on Thursday a consolidated net loss of ¥161,842 million for April-December 2020, its first red ink for the nine-month period since it began releasing quarterly earnings in 2003.

The railway operator, also known as JR West, posted a net profit of ¥117,113 million the year before.

The earnings slump reflects a drop by half in its railway business revenue due to the novel coronavirus crisis, as well as sluggish earnings in other operations.

Sales for the period stood at ¥645,044 million, down 44% from the year earlier.

Revenue from its shinkansen bullet train operations fell to some 30% of the year-before level, while revenue from ordinary train lines dropped to around 60%.

The company also saw steep cuts in revenue from commercial facilities inside train stations and from its hotel business.

In light of the decline in earnings, JR West raised some ¥680 billion through corporate bond issuance and other methods in the latest reporting period. It also cut costs by about ¥63 billion by reducing expenses for business trips and advertising.

It maintained its earnings forecast for the full fiscal year ending in March.

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