DOCOMO first-half profits up 27.8%; mobile users up 6.5%

31 Oct 2016

NTT DOCOMO has published its latest financial results, showing the carrier booked net income (attributable to shareholders) of JPY405.41 billion (USD3.39 billion) for the six months ended 30 September 2016, up 27.8% from JPY317.14 billion in the same period a year ago, as operating revenue increased 3.3% to JPY2.288 trillion from JPY2.215 trillion. Operating income for the six months under review surged by JPY123.02 billion (26.6%) to JPY585.60 billion, and pre-tax earnings jumped 28.4% to JPY581.16 billion as Japan’s largest wireless operator beat market expectations in terms of both the top and bottom line. The company noted that operating expenses from its telecoms business decreased by JPY55.0 billion, or 4.0%, to JPY1.332 trillion from JPY1.387 trillion in the same period of 2015, due primarily to a decrease in depreciation expenses as a result of a change in the depreciation method used, a decrease in cost of equipment sold and initiatives to pursue further cost efficiency, despite the increase in expenses associated with ‘docomo Hikari’ (i.e. fibre-optic broadband) revenues. The company has revised upward its operating income forecasts for the fiscal year ending 31 March 2017 by JPY30.0 billion, or 3.3%, to JPY940.0 billion.

NTT DOCOMO closed out 30 September with a total of 72.943 million mobile subscribers, up 6.5% on an annualised basis, of which some 41.281 million were 4G (branded ‘Xi’, up 19.6%) and 31.662 million were 3G (‘FOMA’, down 6.8%). In the six-month period under review DOCOMO sold a total of 13.450 million handsets, broken down as 4.829 million new Xi subscriptions, 1.221 million upgrades from FOMA 3G services, 4.450 million upgrades from existing Xi subscriptions, 1.696 million new FOMA subscriptions, 39,000 downgrades from Xi to FOMA and 1.215 million FOMA upgrades from existing FOMA subscriptions. The average churn rate of 0.58% was unchanged year-on-year, while average monthly ARPU of JPY4,380 marked a 6.8% improvement y-o-y. Average monthly minutes of use (MOU) edged up by five minutes in the period to 136 minutes.