SoftBank Group Corp, a multinational conglomerate based in Japan, has reported a net income of 1,362 billion yen (roughly US $12.7 billion) April-December 2017, over 39 per cent more than the income in the same period last year. This was in part due to deferred taxes on its telecom company Sprint.
The company’s Earnings Before Interest and Tax (EBIT) in this period increased by 24 per cent to 1,148 billion yen or nearly $10.7 billion on account of cost reduction efforts for Sprint, and valuation gain in its Vision and Delta Funds.
Recently, talks of merger between Sprint and US-based telecom company T-mobile fell through, which also led to fall in share prices. But SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, said while releasing the earnings report, that you may think Sprint is a troubled company, but they are making a steady turnaround.
SoftBank has also unveiled plans for an initial public offering (IPO) of its domestic telecom operation. This listing of a company core to the Group’s telecommunications business, will make possible to communicate information regarding the Group’s businesses to the market with greater clarity and thereby better respond to the various needs of investors, it said.
Apart from its domestic telecom operation, the conglomerate’s other businesses include chip maker ARM, Yahoo! Japan, Sprint, Alibaba, Fortress Investment Group. SoftBank has also funded various companies around the world through its Vision Fund.
In the event, Son also spoke of investing more in companies and startups he called “unicorns”. SoftBank has invested in Indian companies Paytm, FlipKart, OYO Rooms, Ola, Snapdeal, Grofers, InMobi, Housing, among others.
In the mobility space, apart from Ola, SoftBank also has stake in US-based Uber, Chinese DiDi, and Singapore-based Grab. These companies altogether facilitate 45 million daily rides, Son said, adding that SoftBank will lead transportation in the future.
In January, Softbank increased investment in Uber and acquired 18% stake in the company. SoftBank and its co-investors gave $1.25 billion to the cab aggregator as part of the transaction.
In October last year, ANI Technologies, the owner of Ola Cabs, raised another round of funding of $2 billion from a group of investors including its existing investors SoftBank Group Corp and Tencent Holdings Ltd.
Flipkart also raised an investment of $2.5-2.6 billion from SoftBank Vision Fund in August 2017. The fund is considered to be the largest technology fund in the world. Before this, Paytm raised $1.4 billion from SoftBank Group Corp.