Japan’s second largest telecoms company KDDI Corp has reported a 16.2% rise in annual operating profits for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2008, aided by strong demand for its wireless services. KDDI posted operating profit of JPY400.45 billion (USD3.87 billion) in the year to 31 March 2008, compared with JPY344.7 billion in FY2006/07. The consensus estimate in a Reuters’ poll of nine analysts was for operating profit of JPY401.5 billion. KDDI is forecasting operating profit of JPY443 billion in the current fiscal year. It plans to launch WiMAX-based broadband services in 2009 and plans to sacrifice short-term turnover growth by offering discounts to entice new users to the service, as it looks to offset a decline in business at its fixed line unit. KDDI said its consolidated operating revenues climbed 7.8% year-on-year to JPY3.59 trillion, from JPY 3.34 trillion the previous year. Group net income totalled JPY217.8 billion, up 16.6% from JPY186.7 billion in the previous financial year.
KDDI’s mobile businesses au Corp and TU-KA Group posted a combined revenue gain of 6.9% to JPY2.86 trillion while operating income from mobile services rose 18% year-on-year to JPY455 billion. The mobile arm added a net 2.15 million mobile additions (2.79 million for au Corp and a net loss of 640,000 for TU-KA which closed down at end-March). At the end of March au Corp had 30.11 million mobile customers, of which some 19.70 million were au WIN (EV-DO) subscribers. By contrast, the group’s fixed line division reported only a modest 0.6% y-o-y rise in turnover at JPY718.6 billion as operating losses widened to JPY64.7 billion and net losses climbed to JPY51.7 billion from JPY23.4 billion in FY2006/07. By 31 March 2008 KDDI counted 4.83 million fixed lines in service, 3.28 million Metal-plus subscribers (ADSL and VoIP) and 710,000 Hikari-One (FTTH) customers.