Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Fuji TV profits plunges

Tokyo -- The Livedoor Company debacle in Japan cut Fuji Television Network Inc's 2005 profit by 50 per cent.

Fuji TV management said Group net profit in fiscal 2005 plunged 50.3 percent from the previous year to 11.35 billion yen due primarily to a heavy loss on the sale of equity shares in Livedoor Co.

Fuji bought a 12.74 percent stake in Livedoor to amicably end its battle with the Internet company to gain control over radio broadcaster Nippon Broadcasting System Inc. last year, but Livedoor shares' sharp fall and delisting earlier this year prompted Fuji to sell the stake at a loss, Kyodo News reported.

Livedoor share prices nose-dived from January as its President Takafumi Horie and other executives were suspected of having falsified financial statements.

Fuji sold the Livedoor stake to Yasuhide Uno, president of cable TV broadcaster Usen Corp.

Fuji's consolidated sales in fiscal 2005 that ended March 31 scored a substantial gain of 24.5 percent to 593.49 billion yen as Nippon Broadcasting and its affiliates became Fuji's consolidated subsidiaries.

On the brighter side, the TV broadcasting division alone boosted its sales 1.5 percent to a record 381.56 billion yen as Fuji achieved the highest audience ratings in all time zones.

Fuji lowered its dividend payout for fiscal 2005 to 4,000 yen per share from 5,000 yen in the previous year.

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