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Japan's Rakuten vows to stay in mobile battle after record loss

Online shopping boost from pandemic offset by investment in telecoms network

Rakuten said initial plans to invest about 600 billion yen to build out its mobile network will be 30% to 40% higher because it will install more base stations. (Photo by Masayuki Terazawa)

TOKYO -- Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten's Chairman and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani on Friday vowed to continue its battle in the mobile telecommunications market after heavy upfront investments pushed the company to a record loss.

Rakuten's net loss of 114.20 billion yen ($1.1 billion) for the year ended December widened from the previous year's 31.9 billion yen loss and was bigger than analysts' forecast of 94.5 billion yen, according to S&P Capital IQ. Revenue grew 15% from the year before to a record 1.46 trillion yen, thanks to strong growth in its e-commerce and financial services units, which span credit cards and banking.

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