Telco Soft­bank Q1 profit up 4%

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Foreign News -

TOKYO: Ja­panese wire­less car­rier Soft­bank Corp yes­ter­day 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 (Us$2.6bil). 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. — Bloomberg

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