Telco SoftBank first-quarter profit rises 4%, buoyed by enterprise and internet businesses By Reuters

Telco SoftBank first-quarter profit rises 4%, buoyed by enterprise and


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman using a mobile phone walks past the logo of SoftBank Corp in Tokyo

By Sam Nussey

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese wireless carrier SoftBank Corp on Tuesday reported a 4% rise in first-quarter operating profit, beating analyst estimates, supported by its enterprise and internet businesses.

April-June profit reached 280 billion yen ($2.6 billion). That compared with the 262 billion yen average of two analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv.

A fall in profit at its consumer business was offset by growth in enterprise as it benefits from growing demand for teleworking services amid the coronavirus outbreak.

SoftBank is making a major push into online retailing through companies it controls. Z Holdings Corp last week said operating profit from e-commerce topped its media business for the first time and online fashion retailer Zozo Inc reported a big profit jump as shoppers shift online.

Parent SoftBank Group Corp has cut its stake in the telco to 62.1% from 67.1% as Chief Executive Masayoshi Son sells assets to fund a record 2.5 trillion yen share repurchase plan.

The buyback has fuelled a divergence in market valuation, with SoftBank Corp’s share price languishing below its 1,500 yen initial public offering price from December 2018, even as its parent’s shares rocket to two-decade highs.

(Graphic: Diverging stock prices: https://graphics.reuters.com/SOFTBANK-RESULTS/nmopaldexva/chart.png)

SoftBank Group reports its earnings on Aug. 11.

Japan’s third-largest wireless carrier maintained its forecast of flat operating profit of 920 billion yen for the current financial year ending March 2021.

Separately on Tuesday, the telco said it had under-reported 3 billion yen of income during the financial year ended March 2019, entailing additional taxes.

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