April 28, 2014 2:00 am JST

KDDI seen lifting dividend payout again in fiscal 2014

TOKYO -- Anticipating a record net profit this fiscal year, KDDI Corp. is expected to boost its annual dividend payment by 20 yen (19 cents) a share to 150 yen.

     The Japanese mobile provider's net profit is seen rising 30% from last fiscal year's expected results to about 420 billion yen, thanks to stronger sales of Apple's iPhone in particular. It will use 30% or more of this for dividend payouts. This will mark the company's 13th straight year of dividend increases.

     Tablet demand is also seen growing further this fiscal year, and the number of subscribers is expected to keep climbing. An increasing number of contracts will cover multiple devices, and more customers will upgrade to smartphones from conventional mobile phones, bolstering data revenue.

     The company will also limit promotional costs. Outlays for cash-back and other measures for securing new contracts will be reduced, improving profitability. Operating profit is seen growing 10% to roughly 730 billion yen.

     In fiscal 2013, net profit reached an estimated 320 billion yen, up 33%, beating the forecast calling for a 32% increase to 318 billion yen.

     Rival NTT Docomo Inc. is expected to report an operating profit decline for last fiscal year. With Japan's smartphone market starting to slow down, how efficiently mobile carriers can use promotional funds could widen the earnings gaps.