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Struggling with ongoing restructuring efforts, Japan Telecom Co. on Tuesday reported net losses of 66 billion yen for the business year that ended in March. It was Japan Telecom’s first net loss as a publicly traded company.

The nation’s No. 3 telecommunications firm also announced day a 5.5 billion yen deal to sell its asymmetrical digital subscriber line business to e-Access Ltd., a major wholesaler of ADSL services to Internet service providers.

The transfer of 215,000 subscribers and 842 related base facilities will make e-Access, with 525,000 users, the second-largest broadband provider after the NTT group, according to e-Access.

The deal, however, will not adversely affect the company as it will continue offering current end-user ADSL services through e-Access, Japan Telecom said.

The company is 66.7 percent owned by British mobile phone service provider Vodafone Group PLC.

For 2001, group sales increased 16.3 percent to 1.7 trillion yen largely thanks to sales from J-Phone Co., the firm’s mobile unit. Operating profits, however, fell 20.3 percent to 89.1 billion yen as price-cutting competition intensified in the fixed-line business.

The group’s pretax profits stood at 74 billion yen, a 17.3 percent fall.

In addition to the decline in profits, Japan Telecom posted 75 billion yen impairment on the carrying value of investments and 12 billion yen in special losses for debt refinancing.

As a result, the company posted its first net losses since being listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in September 1994.

In sharp contrast to its parent company, J-Phone Co. recorded double-digit growth for 2001, both in profits and sales. Sales jumped 22 percent to 1.35 trillion yen, operating profits increased 21 percent to 107.2 billion yen and pretax profits surged 34 percent to 97.3 billion yen.

Japan Telecom also revealed a plan to transform itself into a holding company, to be named Japan Telecom Holdings Co., with three new wholly owned subsidiary units to be set up in summer.

Telecom Express Co., a mobile phone agency unit, and Japan System Solution Co., a mobile information-processing system unit, will be set up July 1.

Japan Telecom Co., which will cover the fixed-line business, is to be launched Aug. 1.

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