TOKYO — Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten said Thursday that its nine-month net profit slipped by 0.4 percent on higher expenses and tax payments than in the year-earlier period.

The company’s net income for the nine months ended Sept. 30 totaled 42.54 billion yen, or $353.06 million at average exchange rates for the period.

Operating profit grew 13.5 percent to 82.96 billion yen, or $688.55 million.

Rakuten said it saw sales growth of 21.3 percent in the nine months, bringing its total revenue to 514.71 billion yen, or $4.27 billion.

As Japan’s largest e-commerce operator, Rakuten’s largest business segment is its internet services segment, revenue of which grew 22.5 percent year-on-year to 309.5 billion yen, or $2.57 billion.

“In the Internet services segment for the nine months ended September 30, 2015, the Rakuten Group actively worked on strategies to open up the Rakuten ecosystem, enhanced services for smart devices, promoting marketing which utilizes big data, implementing measures to improve user satisfaction and enhancing services for overseas consumers among other initiatives in its core domestic e-commerce services,” the company said. “In overseas e-commerce services, Ebates Inc., which became a subsidiary in October 2014, contributed significantly to the growth of performance.”

Rakuten did not release specific forecasts for its full-year profit and sales, but said that consolidated revenue and operating income “are expected to surpass the levels of fiscal 2014.”

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