Local media is reporting that KDDI may show a net subscriber loss, for the first time ever, in the month of April as a result of phasing-out their legacy Tu-Ka network. According to Bloomberg news, comments made yesterday by KDDI’s CFO, Satoshi Nagao, indicate the net month-on-month decline could be in the 100,000 clients range. The company had just over 234,000 contracts for the service, less than 1% of their total customer base, as of April 1st.
The company forecasts profit will climb to a record this year as it focuses on the high-speed “au” service and promotes new semiconductors and software that will help slash handset development costs. KDDI also aims to narrow Softbank’s lead in user gains with new phones and plans that offer free calls for family and corporate clients.
“The drop would be a one-off event,” with gains returning in the following months, Nagao said. “The impact on profit will be very small” because many customers with the slower “Tu-ka” service had pre-paid for calls, he said.
Shares of KDDI fell 1.6 percent to 681,000 yen as of 9:13 a.m. on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The stock has dropped 18 percent this year, compared with an 8.6 percent decline for the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average.
KDDI gained a record 500,500 subscribers in March, expanding its user base to 30.1 million and forecast net income will increase by 15 percent to 250 billion yen ($2.4 billion) in the 2008 fiscal year started which started on April 1st, according to the report.