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SoftBank posts USD 11.8 billion net profit in first quarter

Sale of T-Mobile stake helps Japanese conglomerate rebound from record loss.

Image source: Tuchong SoftBank founder and Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son speaks during a news conference in Tokyo. Japanese Internet company SoftBank Group Corp., which is struggling to turn around Sprint in the U.S., is reporting a 27 percent drop in profit for the fiscal year ended March 31, compared to the previous year. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File). Image source: Tuchong

SoftBank Group on Tuesday reported a net profit of JPY 1.25 trillion (USD 11.8 billion) in the April-June quarter thanks to the merger and sale of its stake in US mobile carrier Sprint, marking a return to profit after suffering its worst ever loss in the previous quarter.

Better performance at SoftBank’s near USD 100 billion Vision Fund also helped reverse the losses. The fund segment posted an investment gain of JPY 296 billion yen, thanks to mostly unrealized gains in the value of its 86 portfolio companies. These include US ride-sharing company Uber Technologies and biotech firm Vir Biotechnology.

SoftBank founder and chairman Masayoshi Son has shifted to a defensive strategy amid looming uncertainty caused by the new coronavirus pandemic.

In March, the company announced plans to sell USD 41 billion worth of assets over the next year. In June Son said it had already realized about 80% of the target by selling shares in T-Mobile and its Japanese mobile arm SoftBank Corp, as well as from using its stake in Alibaba Group Holding. SoftBank has used some of the proceeds to buy back its own shares.

SoftBank posted a 736 billion yen profit from merging Sprint with T-Mobile in April, as well as a JPY 421 billion profit from a subsequent deal to sell some of its shares in T-Mobile.

This article first appeared on Nikkei Asian Review. It’s republished here as part of 36Kr’s ongoing partnership with Nikkei. 36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company.