TOKYO: Japan’s SoftBank said nine-month net profit rose 15.9% to a record high, boosted by its huge stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, which listed in New York last year.
Net profit for April-December came in at 579.4bil yen (RM17.37bil), although it said gains were eroded by restructuring at newly acquired US wireless carrier Sprint.
SoftBank has a one-third equity stake in Alibaba, whose US$25.02bil (RM89.01bil) initial public offering in New York in September was the biggest in history. The firm made a US$5bil (RM17.78bil) gain from the listing.
In the December quarter alone, however, net profit dived 79.1% to 18.7bil yen (RM560.85mil) because of heavier losses at number-three US wireless operator Sprint, which the Japanese firm bought for US$21.6bil (RM76.84bil) last year.
“Getting Sprint into shape will not happen overnight and might take half a year to a year,” Satoru Kikuchi, an analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities told Bloomberg News before the earnings announcement.
SoftBank’s April-December revenue soared 41% to 6.4tril yen (RM191.94mil) thanks to contributions from the US carrier and other acquisitions.
But operating profit fell 16.2% to 788bil yen (RM23.63bil) due partly to costs to reduce payrolls at Sprint and the absence of one-off gains the group reported a year before from business mergers.
SoftBank left untouched its annual operating profit estimate at 900bil yen (RM26.99bil) on revenue of 8tril yen (RM239.93bil). — AFP