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Japanese online retailer Rakuten saw operating profit fall for the first time in more than two years in the quarter ended December as an impairment cost of nearly ¥25bn ate into earnings.

While revenue grew 9.6 per cent year on year to ¥222.6bn in the fourth quarter – besting a median estimate of ¥215.1bn from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg – the company also booked a one-off ¥24.3bn impairment cost, ¥21.4bn of which was on video streaming subsidiary Viki.

That helped drag down operating profit, which came in at ¥2.8bn for the quarter, falling far short of a median estimate of ¥33.6bn. The company reported a loss of ¥5.9bn for the period, the first quarterly loss since Q2 2013, where analysts had expected adjusted net income of ¥22.9bn.

Rakuten’s fintech segment saw profit rise 2.6 per cent last year to ¥65.6bn. However, profit at its main internet services segment fell 39% in the quarter ended December to ¥55.6bn, which the company attributed to “aggressive sales activities” and a high basis for comparison from stock gains the previous year.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.
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