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Japan-Update

Tokyo Dome's profit looks better than expected

Stadium operator buoyed by major sports, concert events

Extra baseball games buoyed revenue at the Tokyo Dome stadium.

TOKYO -- Tokyo Dome's operating profit appears to have held steady for the year ended January at nearly 13 billion yen ($113 million), better than the projected decline of 8%.

Extra events held at the Tokyo Dome stadium buoyed earnings. Sales apparently rose 2% on the year to 87.5 billion yen, compared with the 2% decline projected. The company releases its fiscal 2016 results on March 16.

The mainstay Tokyo Dome stadium business fared well. With many other large event sites in greater Tokyo closed for redevelopment, demand for the Tokyo Dome as a venue is rising. Use for concerts by major pop groups, like Hey! Say! JUMP and AAA, increased.

Lucrative professional baseball games increased, too. The October 2016 playoff series between the Yomiuri Giants and the Yokohama DeNA Baystars and rescheduling due to bad weather meant an extra six games that were not planned at the fiscal-year start. Each post-season baseball game boosts revenue by around 160 million yen.

In the company's hotel business, the average price per room at the Tokyo Dome Hotel rose nearly 1,000 yen to about 16,000 yen, amid a tight market in greater Tokyo. By frequently revising its pricing based on booking conditions, the hotel was able to capture more guests who were willing to pay more.

The Atami Korakuen Hotel in Shizuoka Prefecture closed an annex popular among group guests at the end of August, reducing available rooms by around 60%. Meanwhile, the main building drew more guests to some upscale rooms that reopened in September after renovation.

The Tokyo Dome City Attractions amusement park drew more visitors thanks to mystery-solving events and other offerings. The Tokyo Dome Sports unit took on management of more sports facilities and other sites.

In the current year through January 2018, revenue and profit are both expected to fall, as the Spa LaQua section will close in the summer for renovation, and the Tokyo Dome Hotel Sapporo will end operations at the end of April.

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