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Profits climb in April-December on back of cheap crude

Japan Airlines is among several companies seen logging record profits thanks to falling oil prices.

TOKYO -- Cheap crude prices buoyed profits across a broad spectrum of corporate Japan in the nine months ended December, with everyone from airlines to manufacturers benefiting and some even snaring record highs.

     Japan Airlines likely saw operating profit soar over 20% on the year to a record 170 billion yen ($1.43 billion). The company had assumed kerosene, which is used in jet fuel, would average $70 a barrel for the fiscal year ending in March. But the price recently fell under $40. The decline squeezed revenue from fuel surcharges but cut costs, boosting profit overall.

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