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Yahoo Japan Profits Up on Higher Ad Revenues

Yahoo Japan Corp. reported an almost eight-fold hike in its April-June quarterly earnings from a year earlier, aided by strong advertising revenues.

Operating profit at Yahoo Japan, owned by Softbank Corp. of Japan and Yahoo! Inc., jumped to a record 260 million yen ($2.15 million) for the quarter from 33 million yen a year before, according to a Reuters report.

Yahoo Japan President Masahiro Inoue said advertising revenues had tripled to 724 million yen during the quarter. "This is a healthy gain, although the Internet advertising market in Japan is still a fraction of what it should be," Inoue told a news conference.

Japan had 17 million Internet users at the end of March, the second-largest number in the world after the United States, but Japan's largest advertising agency Dentsu Inc estimates that companies earmarked only 11.4 billion yen for Internet advertising in 1998. Inoue said the Japanese market for Internet advertising could grow to one trillion yen by 2005.