Internet shopping mall operator Rakuten Inc. said Thursday it posted record group sales and operating profit in the January-June first half of the current fiscal year.

Sales surged 78 percent from the same period a year earlier to 7.75 billion yen, while operating profit leaped 67.1 percent to 1.75 billion yen, the Tokyo-based operator of the Rakuten Ichiba shopping site said.

Rakuten attributed its brisk performance to a rise in fees paid by shops in accordance with growing sales as well as an increase in orders following improvements to its purchase points accumulation system.

Rakuten said its group net profit was 416 million yen in the six-month period, a turnaround from a group net loss of 105 million yen the previous year. Its group pretax profit soared 106.5 percent to 1.69 billion yen.

The number of shops listed on its shopping site as of the end of June stood at 6,742, up 1,209 from a year earlier, it said.

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