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May 11, 2017

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SoftBank gains from Alibaba stake sale

JAPANESE mobile giant SoftBank yesterday said its full-year net profit tripled largely thanks to one-off gains from the sale of a stake in Alibaba.

The company said net profit for the year ended in March came in at 1.43 trillion yen (US$12.6 billion), compared with 474.17 billion yen the previous year. Operating profit rose 12.9 percent.

SoftBank said it booked 238.1 billion yen in gains from share sales in other firms, resulting from the sale of a partial stake in Alibaba.

The firm said last year that it planned to reduce its stake in Alibaba from 32.2 percent to about 28 percent.

In June, it also sold Finnish game maker Supercell Oy, creator of “Clash of Clans,” to Chinese Internet behemoth Tencent for US$8.6 billion.

SoftBank also highlighted improvements in its US subsidiary Sprint — though a strong yen offset much of the positive impact — as well as profits booked from the acquisition last year of British iPhone chip designer ARM Holdings.

It also noted improved domestic telecom operations in Japan.

Revenue edged up 0.2 percent to 8.9 trillion yen, the firm added, citing a rise in e-commerce sales from its Yahoo Japan business and the addition of the ARM business.

Softbank gained from the strong yen as that helped it pay some of its foreign currency-denominated debt.

SoftBank did not release earnings estimates for the fiscal year to March 2018.


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