SoftBank Group recorded a second straight quarter of profit in fiscal Q4 2023 (calendar Q1), as it turned its investment strategy away from China and focused on AI-centric companies.

The company registered a net profit attributable to owners of JPY231.1 billion ($1.5 billion) compared with a loss of JPY57.6 billion a year earlier. The Vision Fund registered a loss of JPY96.7 billion after it cut valuations on some companies in the portfolio, with its exposure to China down from 31 per cent at end-March 2023 to 6 per cent.

On its earnings call, SoftBank CFO Yoshimitsu Goto noted the company is in “a very unique position”, having achieved a net asset value of JPY27.8 trillion, with Arm one of the biggest contributors.

The chip design unit booked revenue of JPY137.2 billion, up 27.9 per cent, driven by a 50 per cent jump in licensing revenue.

Goto expects Arm revenue to increase between 30 per cent and 37 per cent in fiscal Q1 2024 and 18 per cent and 27 per cent for the full year.

SoftBank’s consolidated sales rose 9 per cent to JPY1.8 trillion.

For the full fiscal year, it booked a net loss of JPY227.6 billion, down from a JPY970.1 billion loss in fiscal 2022.

Goto played down the loss in an earnings call, noting SoftBank “made good progress” compared with fiscal 2022, with the figure improving by JPY742.4 billion. He said it resumed new investments, with JPY3.9 billion in fiscal 2023 and JPY5 billion earmarked for the Vision Funds this fiscal year.

For fiscal 2023, the Vision Fund posted a profit of JPY128.2 billion compared with a JPY4.3 trillion loss.