TOKYO - Japan Airlines (JAL), which went bankrupt two years ago in one of the country's biggest-ever corporate failures, on Monday logged an annual net profit of US$2.33 billion (S$2.9 billion), thanks to cost-cutting efforts.
The carrier said its net profit for the year through March was 186.6 billion yen (S$28.8 billion) on sales of 1.2 trillion yen, as a strong yen saw more Japanese people travel overseas, although demand was hit by last year's quake-tsunami disaster.
It had forecast a 160 billion yen net profit.
"Amid uncertain economic uncertainty stemming from such factors as the earthquake of March 11, 2011 and Europe's debt problem, we have continued our efforts and have taken measures to further expand revenue and increase profitability," the airline said in a statement.
The company warned that business conditions would "continue to cast uncertainty", especially over rising oil prices.
The carrier predicted it would earn a profit of 130 billion yen in the present fiscal year.
In March 2011, the company exited bankruptcy, more than a year after a spectacular collapse that prompted a government bailout of the once-venerable flag carrier.
It went bust in 2010 with staggering debts of about 2.32 trillion yen but continued flying during its rehabilitation process, which included massive job and route cuts.
The airline underwent an aggressive cost-cutting plan guided by charismatic businessman Kazuo Inamori, who was brought in by the government to help turn the firm around.
Japanese media have reported that JAL, which was forced to delist during its crisis, may return to the market by September 2012.
In February, the firm said it had ordered 10 new Boeing Dreamliner aircraft as it looks to build on its recovery and fight off the threat from an emerging budget sector.
During its restructuring, the company cut unprofitable routes, reviewed its fleet, and reduced fuel expenses. It also started using a new revenue management system to improve productivity.
Last month, domestic rival All Nippon Airways posted a record operating profit of US$1.2 billion in the year ended in March, boosted by cost cuts and a recovery in international travel demand.