Message to Shareholders and Investors

Corporate Mission

Empowering individuals and society through innovation and entrepreneurship

Message from CEO

Dear Shareholders,

On behalf of the Rakuten Group, I would like to thank all of our shareholders for your continued support of the Rakuten Group.

To the victims of the 2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake and their families, we offer our heartfelt support. We sincerely hope for the earliest possible reconstruction and recovery.

In 2023, there were significant changes and milestones achieved by the Rakuten Group. In the Mobile business, the number of subscribers for the mobile carrier service of Rakuten Mobile exceeded 6 million* as a result of the launch of a new price plan, Rakuten SAIKYO Plan, approval for platinum band (700 MHz frequency spectrum) allocation, and continuous efforts to improve communication quality and customer satisfaction. In addition, Rakuten Symphony saw new developments, such as 1&1 AG in Germany becoming the first company in Europe to commercially operate a fully virtualized mobile network based on Open RAN technology, which was built by Rakuten.

In the Internet Service business, annual gross merchandise sales surpassed 6 trillion yen. In the FinTech Service business, the number of credit cards issued by Rakuten Card surpassed 30 million, the number of Rakuten Bank savings accounts surpassed 14 million, and the total number of Rakuten Securities general securities accounts exceeded 10 million. Another major milestone was the first J1 League championship for Vissel Kobe in its 29th year since establishment.

As a result of these efforts, the Rakuten Ecosystem has further expanded, with the Rakuten Group’s annual global gross transaction value reaching approximately 40 trillion yen, up 17% year-on-year, and annual revenue exceeding 2 trillion yen, up 7.8% year-on-year. At the same time, various cost optimization efforts were also successful, and annual consolidated EBITDA remained in the black, while the EBITDA of the non-financial business (Internet Service business and Mobile business) turned positive in the fourth quarter in fiscal 2023, and Non-GAAP operating income for the month of December 2023 also turned positive, resulting in a significant improvement in the performance.

In 2024, we will start to improve the quality of services and operational efficiency by combining AI with services and data in the Rakuten Ecosystem, while continuing to pursue further growth and synergies in the Internet Service, FinTech Service, and Mobile businesses.

With respect to dividends, we have regretfully decided not to pay dividends for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023, in light of the current financial situation of the Company and other factors, and in the belief that controlling the outflow of funds through dividends will stabilize our financial base and ultimately enhance shareholder value. Our basic policy is to pay stable and continuous dividends, while taking into account the importance of making investments for medium-to long-term growth and ensuring sufficient internal reserves for the purpose of stabilizing our financial base, and this policy will remain unchanged in the future. We will strive to resume dividend payments in a timely and appropriate manner as we work to return to profitability on a consolidated basis and reduce interest-bearing debt as soon as possible.

We pray for world peace and the reconstruction and recovery of the disaster-stricken areas, and our employees will work as one for a better future and the development of society through our business.

Thank you for your continued understanding and support.

March 2024
Representative Director, Chairman,
President and CEO
Rakuten Group, Inc.

* Including B2C, B2B, and BCP. BCP refers to a plan sold for Business Continuity Plan usage in B2B.