TOKYO—Rakuten said Thursday that net income for its fiscal first quarter more than doubled thanks to the implementation of a mid-term business strategy, as well as unrealized gains on stocks related to recent investments in companies with “new technologies or innovative business models.”
For the three months ended Mar. 31, Japan’s largest e-commerce provider posted a net income of 25.06 billion yen, or $220.3 million, at average exchage rates for the period. This was up from 12.09 billion yen, or $104.7 million, for the same period a year earlier.
The company said its operating income rose 73.2 percent to 40.4 billion yen, or $355.3 million.
Rakuten posted first-quarter sales growth of 17.6 percent, for a total of 212.08 billion yen, or $1.86 billion.
In its mainstay domestic e-commerce business, Rakuten has “cultivated loyal customers and conducted sales activities in order to win new users, as well as initiatives targeting greater customer satisfaction, strengthening services for smart devices and opening up the Rakuten ecosystem,” the company said.
“Results are on track for improvement in overseas internet services, due to contributions from the steady growth in U.S. subsidiary Ebates Inc. and other factors,” it added.
As the e-commerce industry in Japan continues to become more competitive, Rakuten has been aggressive in its expansion into related industries, including drones, bots and artificial intelligence.
In February, Rakuten announced it had invested $26 million in AirMap, a company working on a global airspace management platform for drones. Last September, the company acquired Fablic, provider of the C2C marketplace app Fril.
In the past year, it has also invested in U.S.-based bot developer Run Dexter, digital content provider getAbstract AG, cross-border payment platform Currencycloud, and Japanese fintech company Folio.
Rakuten does not publish its full guidance figures, but said that for the twelve months ending Dec. 31 it is targeting double-digit growth over the previous year.