SoftBank raises Yahoo Japan stake to drive growth - Mobile World Live

SoftBank raises Yahoo Japan stake to drive growth

09 MAY 2019

SoftBank Group’s domestic telecoms arm outlined plans to increase its stake in Yahoo Japan, a move it expects to fuel double-digit growth in profit and revenue in its fiscal 2019.

The Japanese unit, which was listed in December in the country’s largest-ever IPO, plans to acquire about 1.5 billion shares in the internet company for JPY457 billion ($4.2 billion) in June and make it a subsidiary. The purchase will boost SoftBank Corp’s stake to 45 per cent from 12 per cent.

Meanwhile, SoftBank Group said it will sell its 36 per cent stake in the internet company back to Yahoo Japan.

For fiscal 2019, SoftBank Corp forecast net profit, including Yahoo Japan, to increase 11.4 per cent to JPY480 billion and revenue to jump 28.1 per cent to JPY4.8 trillion.

The company said it aims accelerate growth through the stake increase and “integrate strategies, services and resources”, adding that 5G coupled with big data and AI will redefine various industries.

That said, it offered little in the way of detail on its 5G plans beyond stating it will have more than 90 per cent population coverage “at an early stage”.

SoftBank Corp said that by deepening cooperation with Yahoo Japan in areas including e-commerce and mobile payments, it will use the services and customers of both companies, along with the “massive volume and variety of big data” obtained from subscribers to “provide our customers with more convenient services tailored to their lifestyles”.

Fiscal 2018
Net profit in the fiscal year ending 31 March rose 7.5 per cent year-on-year to JPY431 billion, while total revenue increased 4.6 per cent to JPY3.75 trillion.

Telecoms service revenue was up 4.4 per cent to JPY1.99 trillion, with mobile turnover 2.5 per cent higher at JPY1.63 trillion and broadband revenue rising 14.1 per cent to JPY361 billion.

Equipment sales decreased 2.2 per cent year-on-year to JPY691 billion.

The operator added 1.9 million mobile subscribers, ending the year with 44.5 million. ARPU before discounts fell 2.7 per cent to JPY5,420. Its discounts dropped to JPY1,060 from JPY1,220 in fiscal 2018.

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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