• Kyodo News

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Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. on Wednesday reported a group net profit of ¥538.68 billion for 2008, down 15.2 percent but still the largest among listed Japanese companies for the year.

NTT reported an operating profit of ¥1.11 trillion for the year that ended March 31, down 14.9 percent from the previous year, on group sales of ¥10.42 trillion, down 2.5 percent.

NTT’s net profit topped that of trading house Mitsubishi Corp., which earlier this month announced that group net profit for 2008 fell 21.4 percent to ¥369.94 billion.

NTT attributed its relatively strong results to cost-cutting by group firms and a strong performance by mobile phone unit NTT DoCoMo Inc., which churned out much of the group’s profit after cutting payments to agents while reducing sales of handsets.

“We grabbed the No. 1 (group net profit) post just because export-oriented industries were hit severely” by the global economic downturn, NTT President Satoshi Miura said.

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