Message to Shareholders and Investors
Empowering individuals and society through innovation and entrepreneurship
Rakuten Group’s corporate mission is to empower individuals and society through innovation and entrepreneurship. We strive to contribute to the enrichment of society through innovation and empower many to achieve their goals and provide services which deliver a high standard of satisfaction to users, partners, and other stakeholders.
Message from CEO
In 2019, Rakuten Group faced many challenges and celebrated many achievements.
In the internet services business, domestic e-commerce led by Rakuten Ichiba delivered solid double-digit growth in gross merchandise sales. This was achieved by strengthening our logistics infrastructure and our fashion business, by continuously improving our service quality to respond to increasingly diverse consumer needs, and by working to evolve our business model with the aim of sustainable growth together with our partner companies.
In the FinTech (financial) business, in addition to growth in the transaction volume of Rakuten Card, the pace of customer acquisition accelerated at Rakuten Bank, Rakuten Securities, Rakuten Life Insurance, and Rakuten General Insurance. In addition, with the support of the Japanese government’s policy to promote cashless payment, our payment businesses--Rakuten Pay, Rakuten Edy and Rakuten Point Card--are driving the growth of the industry both online and offline.
In the mobile business, in October 2019, after just 18 months of preparation, we launched our mobile operator service utilizing the world’s first end-to-end fully virtualized cloud-native mobile network, something which was said to be impossible in the telecommunications industry. 2020 will be the year of full-scale service expansion. As we recognize the significant scale of this challenge, we will leverage the full power of Rakuten Group to offer our users innovative mobile services which have never been available before in the market.
Internationally, businesses such as Rakuten Viber, Rakuten Viki, and Rakuten Kobo continue to grow. Global recognition of the Rakuten brand is rising rapidly due to initiatives including the transition from Ebates to the Rakuten brand, sponsorship of the Davis Cup, and entry to the professional baseball league in Taiwan, in addition to our partnerships with FC Barcelona and the Golden State Warriors.
As a result of these efforts, Rakuten Group’s global user base expanded to approximately 1.4 billion and global gross transaction value grew to ¥19 trillion. In 2019, Group revenue showed strong growth, reaching approximately ¥1.3 trillion, up 14.7% year-on-year. However, Non-GAAP operating income was ¥95.1 billion, down 41.0% year-on-year, due to investment in the construction of the logistics business infrastructure and the mobile business. Investment for the future in both businesses is also intended to drive the evolution of the Rakuten Ecosystem.
This year, we will continue to strive to increase our corporate value and shareholder value by driving the development of the Rakuten Ecosystem to enable sustainable growth in partnership with all stakeholders, as expressed by our corporate slogan, “Walk Together.” We ask for the ongoing understanding and support of our shareholders in these endeavors.
Representative Director, Chairman,
President and CEO