Japan-based Softbank’s profit surged in the first quarter of its fiscal 2018, as it recognised a JPY164 billion ($1.5 billion) gain on the sale of online retailer Flipkart by its Vision Fund.
The sale of India-based Flipkart was the first public divestment by the global fund, which had investments of about $26 billion in more than two dozen companies at end-June. The fund recorded a total valuation gain of JPY245 billion for the quarter.
SoftBank’s net profit for the quarter ending 30 June surged to JPY314 billion from JPY5.5 billion in fiscal Q1 2017. Net sales rose 4 per cent to JPY2.27 trillion.
Telecom service revenue from its domestic operation increased 1.8 per cent year-on-year to JPY488 billion, with a 1.6 per cent drop in mobile turnover to JPY400 billion offset by a 10.5 per cent jump in product sales to JPY147 billion.
The operator added 1.2 million mobile subscribers from the comparable 2017 period to end June with 33.6 million. Total ARPU slipped by JPY60 to JPY4,380.
Capex increased 35 per cent year-on-year to JPY73.1 billion, which it attributed to initiatives to expand service areas and improve the quality of LTE services.
Revenue from its US operator Sprint fell 0.4 per cent year-on-year to $8.1 billion due to the spread of promotional price plans for new customers, the company said.
While Sprint added nearly 90,000 mobile subscribers during the quarter, taking its total to 54.6 million at end-June (nearly 900,000 higher than at end fiscal Q1 2017), ARPU continued to weaken: the post paid figure fell 7.9 per cent year-on-year to $43.55, while prepaid was down 5 per cent to $36.27.
Net sales at SoftBank’s Arm unit decreased 11.7 per cent to JPY42.5 billion due to a delay in signing new contracts, the company said.
SoftBank also reported a JPY161 billion gain in the quarter from the sale of a 51 per cent interest in Arm Technology (China) by is subsidiary Arm in May.