18/05/2024 12:50 PM


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Japanese telco SoftBank sees full-year operating profit stable at $8.6 billion

FILE PHOTO: A woman using a mobile phone walks past the logo of SoftBank Corp in Tokyo, Japan December 18, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese telco SoftBank Corp (9434.T) on Monday forecast operating profit for the current financial year at 920 billion yen ($8.6 billion), largely unchanged from a year earlier.

Japan’s third-largest wireless carrier is a vital source of cash for highly leveraged parent SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T), which is set to post a record annual operating loss next week as Chief Executive Masayoshi Son’s tech investments curdle.

SoftBank Corp reported a 32{3c4481f38fc19dde56b7b1f4329b509c88239ba5565146922180ec5012de023f} rise in operating profit in the three months ended March to 116.6 billion yen, compared with 88.7 billion yen a year earlier.

The result undershot the 127 billion yen average of four analyst estimates in a Refinitiv poll.

The telco is seen as a target for SoftBank Group’s plan to raise up to $41 billion through asset sales to shore up its balance sheet, although analysts expect the parent to retain a controlling stake. It has already pledged part of its stake as collateral for loans.

SoftBank Corp launched next-generation 5G services at the end of March but the industry faces new competition from e-commerce firm Rakuten Inc (4755.T), which has launched aggressively low-priced plans in an attempt to take share from the three incumbents.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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