November 1, 2017 / 6:52 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-ANA Holdings raises profit outlook as Japan's stronger economy boosts demand

* ANA expects full-year operating profit of 160 billion yen

* Second quarter operating profit rose 19 pct from year ago (Adds comment, second quarter profit)

TOKYO, Nov 1 (Reuters) - ANA Holdings Inc, Japan’s biggest airline by revenue, raised its full-year operating profit forecast by almost 7 percent on Wednesday as the stronger Japanese economy boosts travel demand.

ANA raised its outlook for operating profit to 160 billion yen ($1.40 billion) for the year to March 31 from an earlier forecast of 150 billion yen.

However, the revised number is still below an average operating profit forecast of 169.4 billion yen from 11 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Consumer spending in Japan this year has strengthened amid a tight labour market. Retail sales in September gained 2.2 percent.

“Improvements in domestic employment, the Japanese income environment and the effect of various government policies suggest a continued gradual recovery in the Japanese economy,” the airline said in its earnings release.

ANA’s rival Japan Airlines also raised its full-year profit outlook on Tuesday, citing the improving economy and lower-than-expected fuel costs.

In the three months ending Sept 30, ANA had an operating profit of 89.6 billion yen following a 75.4 billion yen profit a year earlier. That result compares with an average estimate for a 82.6 billion yen profit from two analysts.

$1 = 113.9200 yen Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Kim Coghill

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