Third quarter pre-tax profits better than doubled at Yahoo! Japan, up from ¥584 million last year to ¥1.49 billion in the three months to December 31. Bolstered by a 29.6% increase in sales to ¥3.7bn, the performance of Yahoo!’s Japanese associate – in which the US giant has a 32% stake – matched market expectations.

However, the contagious online gloom soured even this bullish performance, with Yahoo! warning that profitability would undergo a sharp decline in the year ahead as cash-strapped dotcoms slash online adspend.

Top Japanese advertising agency Dentsu also reported that online advertising in Japan more than doubled last year to ¥50bn from ¥24.1bn in 1999. In a separate statement, Goldman Sachs bucked the doom-trend by forecasting that Nippon's onlne adspend would double again in 2001.

News source: Financial Times