Rakuten Swings into Net Loss

Economy

Tokyo, Nov. 7 (Jiji Press)--Rakuten Inc. <4755> said Thursday it swung to a net loss in the nine months ended in September due to a decline in the stock price of Lyft Inc., a U.S. ride-hailing startup that is some 11 pct owned by the Japanese online retailer.

The development came a day after Softbank Group Corp. <9984> reported an operating loss for its fiscal first half ended in September on soured investments, underscoring challenges facing Japanese investments in major startups overseas.

Rakuten posted a consolidated net loss of 14,117 million yen for January-September, against the year-before profit of 107,923 million yen, marking its first red ink for the nine-month period in eight years.

The company recorded 110,433 million yen in valuation gains on securities in the three months ended last March due to an initial public offering by Lyft. But it logged 102,873 million yen in valuation losses in the latest nine-month period due to a decline in Lyft's share price.

Hiroshi Mikitani, chairman and chief executive officer of Rakuten, told a press conference that the company remains confident in Lyft. "We made a sound investment, despite a fall in the stock price," he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press