TOKYO (Thomson Financial) - Japan's largest cellphone carrier, NTT DoCoMo Inc, is expected to post about 600 billion yen in operating profit for the first nine months of the fiscal year, about 11 percent less than the 676.9 billion yen it made a year earlier, because of the increasing number of subscribers who have switched to new discounted payment plans, the Nikkei newspaper reported Sunday.
The projected decline is also due to the net increase in new subscribers being only half what it was a year before, the newspaper said, without citing any sources.
But NTT DoCoMo is likely to leave its forecast of operating profit for the fiscal year to December unchanged at 780 billion yen, 1 percent more than it made the year before, partly because of some special one-time gains, the Nikkei said.
NTT DoCoMo has been fighting an uphill battle since a new regime allowing cellphone users to change carriers without changing their phone numbers was introduced in 2006, losing a net 650,000 subscribers in the first nine months of this fiscal year, the newspaper said.
But since December the number of new subscribers has started to pick up, and if the company can secure a net increase of at least 400,000 users in the fiscal fourth quarter it can achieve its goal of obtaining a net 850,000 new subscribers in this fiscal year, the Nikkei said.
(1 US dollar = 106.75 yen)
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