Japan's biggest travel agency posts record loss

Japan's biggest travel agency JTB has reported a record annual net loss after tourism demand collapsed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company posted a group net loss of 105.1 billion yen, or about 960 million dollars, for the fiscal year that ended in March. That was a sharp reversal from net profit of about 14.5 million dollars the previous year.

JTB did not provide an earnings forecast for this fiscal year. It said it is difficult to come up with rational estimates.

But the company said a return to profitability is feasible. It cited a partial recovery in demand as more people are vaccinated and overseas travel restrictions are expected to be lifted.
JTB also said it will carry out structural reforms, such as reducing the number of domestic branches and cutting its workforce at home and abroad.

The travel agency is reportedly considering issuing preferred shares to the state-backed Development Bank of Japan to boost its capital.