Yahoo Japan Corp. reported Thursday that it set an all-time high for earnings for the ninth consecutive year, helped by an increase in advertising and the popularity of its Internet auction and shopping businesses in 2005.

In the business year that ended on March 31, the Internet portal operator posted a pretax profit of 79.87 billion yen, up 32.5 percent from the previous year, on sales of 173.70 billion yen, up 47.5 percent from the year before.

Net profit rose 28.9 percent to 47.10 billion yen, while operating profit was 82.13 billion yen, up 36.5 percent.

Earnings from advertising jumped 75.7 percent to 68.4 billion yen, the company said.

According to a survey conducted by Dentsu Inc., Internet advertising revenue rose steadily in 2005 despite declining in the four major media groups — newspapers, television, radio and magazines.

Yahoo Japan said its mobile phone portal attracted 1.44 billion viewers in March, a slight increase from 1.19 billion viewers in December.

This could be good news for Yahoo Japan’s parent company, Softbank Corp. When Softbank announced it was buying Vodafone K.K. last month, President Masayoshi Son stressed that Yahoo Japan’s abundant content would be a strong selling point in attracting new customers to the mobile phone network.

Yahoo Japan is contributing 120 billion yen to the buyout scheme.

Yahoo Japan President Masahiro Inoue said he hopes to create an Internet system for mobile phones that is accessible by all customers. Some mobile phone Internet sites can only be viewed with certain types of mobile phones.

“By financing Vodafone, we hope to change the system from within,” Inoue said.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.