Japan's SoftBank first-half profit jumps on Alibaba listing

  • AFP, Tokyo
  • Updated: Nov 04, 2014 14:43 IST

Japan's SoftBank said on Tuesday net profit in the first six months of its fiscal year jumped by more than a third, thanks to a $5.0 billion-dollar gain from its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

But the company warned that annual operating profit would be lower than expected owing to poor performance at US wireless carrier Sprint, which the Japanese firm bought in a $21.6 billion deal last year.

SoftBank's first-half net profit rose 36.7% from a year earlier to 560.71 billion yen ($4.9 billion).

SoftBank has a one-third equity stake in Alibaba, which raised $25.02 billion in a record initial public offering in September.

The Japanese giant said its April-September revenue soared 57.9% to 4.1 trillion yen as it incorporated revenue from Sprint and other acquisitions, while sales in its mobile communications division also grew.

But operating profit fell 19.1% to 596.66 billion yen due partly to costs associated with job cuts at Sprint, while the year-earlier figure was also higher due to one-time gains, SoftBank said.

Number-three US wireless carrier Sprint said Monday it was slashing 2,000 jobs in a streamlining effort after posting a $765 million quarterly loss. Sprint also reported losing a large number of its most lucrative customers, amid price wars in the wireless sector.

SoftBank revised down its annual operating profit forecast by 100 billion yen to 900 billion yen on sales of 8.0 trillion yen.

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