DOCOMO reports falling full-year revenues, profits as competition intensifies

28 Apr 2020

Japanese mobile provider NTT DOCOMO has reported that net income attributable to the company for the year ended 31 March 2020 fell 10.9% to JPY591.52 billion (USD5.55 billion) from JPY663.63 billion in FY2018/19, as operating revenues dipped 3.9% year-on-year to JPY4.65 trillion, operating profit slumped 15.7% to JPY854.65 billion and EBITDA fell to JPY1..47 trillion from JPY1.56 trillion. In its earnings release DOCOMO noted that competition in the domestic mobile market is ‘further intensifying due to the revision of the Telecommunications Business Act, the spread of low-cost smartphone services through MVNO and MNO sub-brands, and new entrants from different industries’. Further, the NTT Corp-controlled carrier noted that: ‘In addition, new service competition is starting as each telecommunications carrier begins the provision of 5G’.

Capital expenditure for the year ended 31 March 2020 was JPY572.80 billion, down 3.5% from JPY593.70 billion on an annualised basis. Broken down by segment, DOCOMO said its mobile telecoms business generated revenue of JPY2.77 trillion (down 3.0%), mainly due to a decrease in equipment sales as well as a decrease in mobile revenues because of the expansion of ‘customer returns’, and its optical fibre business and other telecoms businesses contributed revenue of JPY336.40 billion, compared to JPY286.30 billion previously, driven by growth in the number of docomo Hikari (fibre broadband) users. Overall operating expenses, meanwhile, eased to JPY3.80 trillion in FY2019/20, from JPY3.83 trillion previously.

Operationally speaking, at end-March 2020 NTT DOCOMO had a total of 80.326 million cellular subscribers, up 2.4% from 78.453 million a year before, of which 61.664 million were 4G (branded Xi), up from 55.872 million at end-March 2019, and 18.648 million were 3G (FOMA), down from 22.581 million y-o-y. Monthly blended mobile ARPU fell to JPY4,230 from JPY4,360 and minutes of use (MOU) edged down to 133 minutes from 134 in FY2018/19; churn was 0.54%, compared to 0.57% previously. Regarding 3G services, NTT DOCOMO ended new registrations for FOMA ‘at the end of FY2019 and announced that this service will be terminated at the end of FY2025’. In addition, the carrier reported that its fibre broadband service, docomo Hikari, had 6.490 million subscribers at 31 March 2020 compared to 5.759 million twelve months earlier. Broadband ARPU was JPY510 per month, up from JPY440.