BUSINESS SoftBank Group triples net profit in first quarter


SoftBank Group triples net profit in first quarter


17:05, August 07, 2019

Japan's SoftBank Group said Wednesday its first-quarter net profit more than tripled thanks to exceptional gains related to the sale of shares in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.


Photo: VCG

The company announced net profit of 1.12 trillion yen ($10.5 billion) for the three months to June, up 257.6 percent compared to the same period a year before.

"It is the first time our quarterly net profit surpassed one trillion yen," CEO Masayoshi Son told reporters.

"It's a remarkable performance," he said.

SoftBank Group said the growth was boosted by delayed gains from its 2016 sales of shares in Alibaba, which had an impact on income of 857 billion yen.

Sales rose 2.8 percent to 2.34 trillion yen while operating profit dipped 3.7 percent to 690 billion yen.

Under tycoon Son, SoftBank, which started as a software firm, has morphed into an investment firm, ploughing funds into a broad range of companies and projects outside its core business.

Last month, the company said it would team up with tech firms including Apple and Microsoft in a new $108-billion investment fund to accelerate the "AI revolution".

Talking about the new fund, Son said on Wednesday, "I have the same feeling as when I went to mountains as a child for an adventure, searching for excitement."

"Maybe it's funny to say this but I feel like I'm in the middle of my youth, even though I'm physically old."

The new fund is the long-mooted successor to its mammoth Saudi-backed Vision Fund, which has taken stakes in leading tech start-ups from Uber to WeWork.

The announcement of Vision Fund 2 made no mention of Saudi Arabia among the investors, but Son revealed they're in discussions with Riyadh.

"Saudi and Abu Dhabi are very big investors for the first fund... Both are highly interested in the second and we're currently discussing concrete conditions," he said.

"Major investors have strong interests... The second fund is expected to increase to more than 10 trillion yen," he added.

Son told reporters the fund was "the most important management engine" for his firm.

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