SoftBank profit jumps, Vision Fund continues growth - Mobile World Live

SoftBank profit jumps, Vision Fund continues growth

05 NOV 2018

SoftBank netted a hefty increase in profit for the first half of its fiscal year, as increased revenue from its telecoms businesses was backed-up by takings from its vaunted technology investment Vision Fund.

The value of interests held by the SoftBank Vision Fund in the six months to end-September increased JPY503 billion ($4.5 billion). During the period, it also profited to the tune of JPY147 billion on the sale of its shares in online retailer Flipkart, a move first reported in its fiscal Q1.

In the fiscal first half its investment unit recorded a 233 per cent year-on-year increase in value, although the half year to end-September 2017 represented the early days of most of its business interests.

The fund has invested a total of $28.1 billion since its foundation in 2016. At the time, Softbank chief Masayoshi Son (pictured) said he aimed to gain $100 billion-worth of capital to pump into the global technology sector.

It has since attracted $96.7 billion of inward investment from Apple, Qualcomm and Foxconn, with its largest backer Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. The fund’s links to Saudi Arabia, however, have caused controversy in recent weeks following negative headlines surrounding the country’s administration.

Following a press conference in Tokyo today (5 November), Bloomberg reported Son as saying the company would not “turn its back” on the Saudi people and vowed to help it diversify its economy.

The fund represents the company’s wider strategy of diversifying the business and setting it up for “300 years of growth”.

Domestic business
Away from the company’s investments, it booked a 1 per cent year-on-year decline in revenue for its Japan consumer mobile business to JPY803 billion, though this took into account new accounting standards.

The decline in mobile was offset by growth in its broadband business, where revenue increased almost 17 per cent. Sales of “other items” in its telecoms division (which includes smartphone sales) were also up.

As a whole, its enterprise and consumer telecommunications division booked a 5 per cent increase in revenue to JPY1.8 trillion. SoftBank noted during the period its capital expenditure increased 42 per cent year-on-year due to the continued cost of strengthening its LTE network.

It also reported increased revenue from US business Sprint, as reported by the subsidiary last week.

Across its entire business, net income attributed to the owners of the parent was JPY840 billion for the six month period, up from JPY103 billion in the same period of 2017.



Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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