March 6, 2014 2:00 am JST

Tokyo Dome's operating profit seen sliding 22% in fiscal 2014

TOKYO -- Tokyo Dome Corp. is likely to score a smaller operating profit in the year ending January 2015, with the operator of the Yomiuri Giants baseball team's home stadium expecting to host fewer games and concerts.

     Operating profit is seen dropping to slightly less than 9 billion yen ($87.1 million), down 22% from the estimated result for the recently ended fiscal year. Sales are expected to fall 4% to just below 80 billion yen.

     In 2013, the Giants went all the way to the Japan Series, playing postseason games at their home field. Tokyo Dome is not counting on the same thing to happen again this year.

     As for concerts, the Rolling Stones are performing this year, but Tokyo Dome is cautious about its prospects for lining up Japanese pop groups and other big names.

     The stadium's utilization rate is expected to fall about 3 percentage points from the year-earlier 86%.

     Fewer events at the stadium will likely mean fewer hotel guests. The company is also making conservative estimates for foreign guests. Room occupancy is likely to fall below last fiscal year's record high of 90%-plus.

     Of course, Tokyo Dome could be pleasantly surprised if the Giants do well and it has a run of sold-out concerts.

     For the year ended Jan. 31, operating profit likely rose 19% to slightly more than 11.5 billion yen. Sales are seen coming in 3% higher at just over 83 billion yen. Both figures slightly exceed company estimates announced in late January.