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Japan's J:COM Cable Operator Profits for Q1 up 33.4 Percent

Japan's largest cable operator expanding through takeovers and tie-ups

TOKYO – Cable TV operator Jupiter Telecommunications (J:COM) saw operating profit grow to 18.5 billion yen ($228 million) for the January to March period, up 33.4 percent over the previous quarter. Income over the quarter was almost unchanged at 92.5 billion yen.

J:COM is forecasting full-year profits of 73.5 billion yen, up 3.4 percent on last year.

Japan’s biggest cable company added 33,000 subscribers in the quarter as its joint promotions with telecoms giant KDDI, now a major shareholder, bore fruit. KDDI, operator of the au mobile network and J:COM, now offer each others' services in their shops.

More customers signed up for its cable TV, Internet and phone services, to give the company just over 7.2 million RGU (revenue generating units). However, despite increased subscriptions for higher speed broadband connections, average revenue per unit fell by 266 yen ($3.28) to 7,429 yen ($91.50) a month.

The multi-service operator announced plans last month to buy ‘independent’ film producer and distributor Asmik Ace Entertainment from J:COM’s other major shareholder, Sumitomo Corp. The plan is to both broadcast movies that Asmik holds the rights to, and jointly produce film and television content for its cable channels. This may include day-and-date theatrical releases and VOD offerings.  

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