KDDI’s profit in fiscal Q3 2023 (ending 31 December 2022) was hammered by rising costs and falling ARPU, but the operator targets hitting its full-year guidance through expenditure cuts, and gains in financial and digital transformation services.

In a statement, KDDI explained its overall fiscal Q3 results were in line with expectations, excluding the impact of rising energy costs, which it forecasts to ease in next fiscal year.

KDDI said it aims to increase profit in fiscal Q4 by focusing on cost efficiency. It expects a gradual easing in price reductions.

In a research note, Jefferies analyst Atul Goyal pointed to the positives in fiscal Q3, noting 5G penetration nearly doubled year-on-year to 49 per cent, while monthly data usage increased 11 per cent, “healthy trends which bode well for KDDI long-term”.

The operator stated 60 per cent of customers purchasing 5G handsets opted for its top-tier unlimited data plans.

Net profit fell 7.7 per cent to JPY177.8 billion ($1.4 billion).

Operating revenue grew 3.9 per cent to JPY1.4 trillion, with a 6.8 per cent increase in business services to JPY274.8 billion offsetting weakness in mobile and equipment sales.

Mobile service revenue fell 7 per cent to JPY401.5 billion and handset sales dropped 2.8 per cent to JPY204.5 billion.

The operator picked up 1.8 million mobile subscribers in the year to end-December, for a total of 63.3 million.

ARPU slipped 5 per cent to JPY3,990.