Rakuten sees revenue increase 15%

Rakuten sees revenue increase 15%

Online retailer Rakuten's revenue was up 15.4% in 2014, compared to the year before, despite “increasing uncertainty” in the world economy.

In results released today (13th February), the Tokyo-based Rakuten Group said it achieved revenue of ¥598,565m (£3272m), up 15.4% year-on-year. Its operating income was ¥106,397m (£582m) up 17.9% year-on-year.

The company, which plans to relocate its head office this year to an yet unknown location, said that challenges in 2014 included “the impact of reduced monetary easing by the U.S., the economic outlook in emerging nations and crude oil price movements”. However, the Japanese economy saw a “moderate recovery…against a backdrop of improvements in the wage and employment environment”.

With the number of internet and smartphone users increasing worldwide, Rakuten said it used 2014 to promote its growth strategy, including by acquiring Viber Media, a mobile messaging service, and Ebates, a membership-based online cash-back site in the US.

In late 2014 Rakuten launched a new UK website selling physical and audiobooks via third party retailers, to replace the existing Play.com site, which will shut down in March this year.