August 7, 2014
Japan’s biggest online retailer Rakuten Inc posted a 9.9 per cent decline in April-June operating profit on Monday.
According to the company, much of the loss is attributed to its internet finance department, which experienced a significant dip in profits during this period.
Overall, operating profit at the internet finance unit fell 17.6 per cent compared to the second quarter of last year, although a stock market rally was held to account for boosting profits in 2013, thanks to stimulus policies designed by the Prime Minister.
Despite this, Rakuten reported a rise of nearly 15 per cent of its total revenue. The money generated however, is being invested into expansion programmes such as Viber, a communication app that cost the company no less than £534 million in February.
In the face of the online decline, Rakuten is optimistic that its new acquisition can ‘completely change’ its e-commerce business. Writing for The Next Web, Jon Russell wrote that Rakuten, “surprised many when it stumped up $900 million” to buy the app.
“The deal was announced just five days before Facebook’s landmark $19 billion acquisition of fellow chat app WhatsApp — while WhatsApp is the industry leader by some margin with over half a billion active users each month, Viber is performing better than might have been expected.”
Changes are also to be made to play.com, which was bought out by Rakuten in 2011. Within the next couple of months, the eCommerce site is to alter its 14 year-old domain to Rakuten.co.uk.