Pandemic-hit travel agency JTB sells Tokyo headquarters to raise funds

The travel agency JTB Corp. on Tuesday announced it had sold its head office in Tokyo as well as another building in Osaka as it moved forward on a restructuring effort to consolidate its finances after the COVID-19 pandemic killed demand for its services.

JTB sold the buildings for tens of billions of yen in order to bolster its cash reserves, a company source said. A spokesperson for JTB declined to comment on details regarding the sale value or the buyer’s name.

The company will continue to use the building in Tokyo’s Shinagawa district as its headquarters on a lease basis, the source said.

The leading travel agency is trying to weather the COVID-19 storm as it posted a record net loss of 105.2 billion yen in the fiscal year ending in March.

Demand fell due to travel restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic, and the company’s capital adequacy ratio fell to 6.9% at the end of March, from 24.3% a year ago.

To cut costs, JTB plans to cut its group’s headcount by 7,200 and close 115 national outlets, or about 25 percent of the total, while raising 30 billion yen ($ 271 million) to strengthen its base. of capital through an allocation of preferred shares by a third party. with financial institutions.

Likewise, its national rival HIS Co. sold its head office in the capital’s Minato district for 32.5 billion yen in order to improve its cash flow.

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Willie R. Golden