Japan’s leading mobile phone carrier by subscribers, NTT DOCOMO, has released its financial results for the April-December 2019 period, noting that revenue and net income fell year-on-year, mainly impacted by its decision to introduce new discount plans in June last year; total applications for the subscription plans, which offer discounts of up to 40%, topped passed the twelve million mark earlier this month. The NTT Corp-controlled carrier booked operating revenue of JPY3.52 trillion (USD32.3 billion) in the nine-month period under review, down 3.8% from JPY3.65 trillion in the corresponding year-earlier period, while operating profit sank 12.7% to JPY787.8 billion, EBITDA was broadly unchanged at JPY1.165 trillion and net profit declined 10.7% to JPY542.3 billion. Nevertheless, DOCOMO president Kazuhiro Yoshizawa remained bullish and claimed that the operator is ‘on track to achieve [its] annual targets’ for the full year to 31 March 2020.
Operationally, DOCOMO closed out 31 December 2019 with a total of 79.670 million mobile subscribers, up from 77.517 million previously, broken down as 59.897 million LTE users (Dec-18: 53.834 million) and 19.772 million 3G subscribers (23.684 million). However, it noted that sales of mobile phone handsets dropped in April-December 2019, following the introduction of new regulations barring it from providing handset subsidies with bundled plans. More positively, the carrier’s fibre broadband service, docomo Hikari, continues to grow, reaching a total of 6.329 million subscriptions at end-2019, up from 5.545 million a year earlier.