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Listed Japan companies ease COVID blow by slashing expenses $64bn

Fewer trips, ads and on-site events helped cushion profit declines in fiscal 2020

A Nikkei survey of 1,400 companies found that working from home helped them to limit the decline in profits, caused by the pandemic, to 30%. (Photo by Kosuke Imamura) 

TOKYO -- Japan Inc.'s bottom line has been helped by a sharp drop in business expenses in the current business year as a result of staff working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic, a Nikkei analysis shows.

Among the expenses that have dropped sharply are those for advertising and travel as businesses have shifted away from face-to-face meetings and on-site events. For the year ending this month, such cost savings among the 1,400 listed companies that Nikkei analyzed are expected to total some 7 trillion yen ($64 billion), helping to limit the decline in overall annual profits to about 30%.This raises the question of how businesses will use such savings for raise productivity in the future.

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