By  on February 13, 2017

TOKYO—Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten said Monday that its full-year net profit fell on a variety of factors including higher expenses due to aggressive sales activities and the absense of unrealized gains on stocks in the previous year.Net income for the twelve months ended Dec. 31, 2016 fell 14.5 percent to 38 billion yen, or $350.3 million, at average exchange rates for the period. Rakuten’s operating profit declined by 17.6 percent to 77.98 billion yen, or $718.9 million. Japan’s largest e-commerce operator said sales grew 9.6 percent to 781.92 billion yen, or $7.21 billion.The company has been conducting aggressive sales activities within its internet services sector, which comprises its e-commerce platforms. Its goal is not only to gain new customers and develop a long-term, loyal customer base, but also to achieve greater customer satisfaction and to strengthen its services for smart devices. In the 2016 fiscal year, revenue of Rakuten’s internet services sector grew 13.7 percent to 560.56 billion yen, or $5.17 billion. Profit in that segment, however, plummeted 38.9 percent to 55.57 billion yen, or $512.3 million.Rakuten did not release specific estimates for its current fiscal year, ending Dec. 31. However, it said in a release that “double-digit growth from fiscal 2016 is targeted for consolidated revenue excluding the securities business whose results are heavily impacted by stock market conditions.”The company is aiming for continued growth in its e-commerce business throughout 2017.“The group’s domestic e-commerce services will aim for further growth in gross transaction value and revenue through implementation of aggressive sales activities with the aim of winning new users and developing a long-term loyal customer base, and by continuously pursuing initiatives targeting greater customer satisfaction, in addition to the global expansion of the e-commerce market,” Rakuten said.

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