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Yahoo Japan posts higher quarterly profit

By Staff
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TOKYO, Apr 20 (Reuters) Yahoo Japan Corp. said on Thursday its quarterly net profit grew 25.9 percent in January-March, helped by its online auction and Web advertising businesses, and forecast strong results in the current quarter.

The bulk of Yahoo Japan's revenues come from Web search advertising and its online auction service, which is the country's largest. It also runs an online shopping site and offers fee-based services for consumers and businesses.

Japan's top Internet portal said its consolidated net profit for the fourth quarter ended March 31 rose to 12.99 billion yen (0.5 million) from 10.3 billion yen a year ago. That was within the range of its expectations of 12.3 billion to 13.85 billion yen.

The company said it expected a net profit of 12.95 billion yen to 14.5 billion yen for the quarter ending in June, compared with 10.3 billion yen in the year-earlier period.

The news comes after California-based Yahoo Inc., which owns 33.5 percent of Yahoo Japan, on Tuesday reported quarterly results in line with Wall Street expectations on strong display advertising and surprising growth in its Web search audience.

Yahoo Japan, which is also 42 percent-owned by Japanese Internet conglomerate Softbank Corp., said its total sales for January-March rose 31.3 percent to 47.06 billion yen.

Shares in Yahoo Japan fell 23.9 percent in the latest quarter, underperforming Tokyo's information and communications sub-index ICOMS, which fell 8.4 percent.

Japan's Internet industry was rocked during the quarter by the arrest of Livedoor Co. executives for falsifying earnings, and jittery investors fled the sector.

On Thursday, the shares closed down 0.45 percent at 66,700 yen ahead of the earnings announcement. The communications sub-index lost 0.07 percent.

REUTERS CS DS1209

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