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NTT DoCoMo Inc. said Friday that its net profit fell 25.1 percent from the previous year to 457.3 billion yen in business 2006, due partly to increased sales promotion costs.

Japan’s top mobile phone carrier, which boasts 54 percent of the 96.7 million mobile phone subscribers nationwide, said its operating profit also dropped 7.1 percent to 773.5 billion yen for the business year that ended on March 31.

Its sales rose 0.5 percent to 4.79 trillion yen.

NTT DoCoMo President Masao Nakamura told reporters in Tokyo that an increasing number of subscribers to its FOMA third-generation mobile phone service contributed to the sales rise.

The number of FOMA subscribers stood at 35.53 million as of the end of last month, which accounted for 67.5 percent of the firm’s total subscribers.

However, after the introduction of the number portability system last October, the carrier had lost 630,000 subscribers as of March 31, while KDDI Corp., the second-largest mobile phone service firm, gained an additional 816,000 subscribers.

Number portability allows people to keep phone numbers when they switch carriers.

NTT DoCoMo saw a net loss in subscribers for the first time in November after the No. 2 carrier and the No. 3 carrier, Softbank Mobile Corp., launched new price plans and new products to attract users to their services.

Nakamura said the company now sees number portability as having less of a negative impact.

“We will throw more new lineups into the market, and we are expanding our network base stations. So we are not so worried about” a possible decline in subscribers, he said. The company also said it will spend 750 billion yen in business 2007 to increase the number of FOMA base stations to 56,700 from 46,100, as of March 31.

Nakamura said NTT DoCoMo is focusing on offering new mobile phone services rather than entering into price competition with its rivals.

On Monday, the carrier unveiled a new mobile phone with motion sensors that allows users to play action games just like on the Wii console made by Nintendo Co. Users can swing the handset like a tennis racket or tilt it to control games.

For the current business year, NTT DoCoMo forecasts its net profit will rise 4.1 percent to 476 billion yen and operating profit will increase 0.8 percent to 780 billion yen while sales will fall 1.3 percent to 4.73 trillion yen.

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