Softbank’s full-year profit tops expectations, announces 5G tie-up

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SoftBank has delivered a net profit for the financial year that came in above estimates, and announced it was teaming up with Qualcomm and Sprint to develop technologies for 5G wireless.

Operating income at the Japanese telecommunications giant rose 12.9 per cent to ¥1.03tn in the 12 months to March 31, although sales crept higher by less than 1 per cent to ¥8.9bn.

Net profit more than tripled to ¥1.43bn in the company’s financial year, beating the ¥975bn forecast by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

A large portion of the bottom line boost came from asset sales, but results were also affected by the recognition of a ¥232bn loss on derivatives related to its stake in Alibaba, the Chinese internet giant. That paper loss is likely to be translated into a gain at a later date when the bonds are converted to Alibaba shares.

For SoftBank’s domestic telecommunications operations, adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 4 per cent over the year to ¥1.2tn, while adjusted Ebitda at Sprint, the US telco, was up 9.8 per cent. High competition meant Spring experienced its first loss in customers in two years, a speedbump as it continues its multi-year turnaround strategy.

Masayoshi Son, SoftBank’s founder and chief executive, at a press briefing in Tokyo, said preparations for the company’s $100bn Vision fund, focused on tech investments, were on track.

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