Business


SoftBank profit slumps 68 per cent



Tokyo: SoftBank, the Japanese wireless carrier led by Masayoshi Son, posted a 68 per cent drop in first-quarter profit after booking an accounting charge from its stake in Alibaba Group Holding and as subscriber growth slowed.

Net income fell to 77.6 billion yen ($763 million) in the three months ended June from 244.4 billion yen a year earlier, which included a one-time gain, the Tokyo-based company said on Friday. That was the biggest profit drop since a loss in the March quarter of 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

SoftBank booked a 63 billion yen loss from associates as its Alibaba convertible preference shares were treated as a liability under accounting rules ahead of the Chinese e-commerce operator's initial public offering.

 SoftBank, which is trying to revive Sprint Corp. in the US, is getting squeezed in Japan as rebates to lure customers are cut and larger rival NTT Docomo adds discounted calling plans. "Domestic competition among mobile carriers is fierce but I don't think it will get much worse," said Kazuyuki Terao, Tokyo-based chief investment officer of Allianz Global Investors Japan.

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