KDDI Mobile Unit to Return to Profit Growth in FY12, President Tanaka Says

KDDI Corp., Japan’s second-largest mobile-phone operator, expects smartphones to revive profit growth at the main wireless business in about two years, President Takashi Tanaka said.

Profit growth will begin accelerating in the year ending March 2013, Tanaka, 53, who took over as president this month, said in an interview in Tokyo today. The company also plans a 3G smartphone that can also pick up Wimax signals next fiscal year, he said.

Profit at in the mobile-phone business will probably fall 11 percent to 430 billion yen ($5.2 billion) in the fiscal year ending March 31, as revenue declines 4 percent to 2.55 trillion yen, the company said in October. KDDI also lags behind NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan’s largest mobile-phone operator, and Softbank Corp. in net user additions.

KDDI fell 1.2 percent to 478,000 yen at the close of trading in Tokyo today, a second consecutive day of decline. The shares have tumbled 3 percent this year in line with the 3.6 percent drop of the Nikkei 225 average.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at palpeyev@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at ycho2@bloomberg.net.

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