Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten has continued its course towards a record financial year after revealing its updated earnings for the first three quarters of 2012. Thus far, annual revenue stands at $3.8 billion (¥309,625 million), up 14.5 percent year-on-year, with profit of $672 million (¥53,200 million), up 11.4 percent.

The company hasn’t broken out its third-quarter figures but — bearing in mind its mid-year results – revenue for the last three months comes in at $1.3 billion (¥109,1 25 million), with an operating profit of $232 million (¥18,595 million) and net income of $118 million (¥9,449 million).

For the full year 2011, Rakuten reported $4.75 billion in annual revenue, so it remains all set to surpass that figure this year. The company, which is out to ‘destroy Amazon’, says that the year’s financials results are record highs for the first three quarters of a fiscal year.

While it boasts that it is set for a record 2012, the firm has declined to provide an exact estimation of its annual revenues. Instead, it notes the uncertainty of Web retail:

“Rakuten, Inc. and its subsidiaries do not disclose earnings forecasts as these business operations include an Internet service business characterized by high uncertainty and financial related businesses such as securities business whose results heavily depend on highly volatile markets. This precludes us from making earnings forecasts.”

The firm does stress that it continues to work to bring the B2B2C-model of its Ichiba marketplace to the world, and is actively looking to boost its presence on smartphones and tablets. As you’d expect, it also said it will continue to assess “investments in high-growth areas such as e-books in order to open up more mid- and long-term income opportunities”.

Rakuten is one of Japan’s few global successes and acquisitions are very much key to its international approach. Just today, it underlined its strategy with the undisclosed purchase of France-based Web logistics firm Alpha Direct Services (ADS). The firm says that ADS’s technology will help strengthen its retail businesses in Europe and worldwide.

Rakuten owns a range of international businesses, including Kobo, Play.com, Buy.com and Tradoria. Additionally it owns stakes in services like Pinterest and Ozon.ru.

Image via Flickr / 401(K) 2012