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SoftBank hikes forecast after mobile rebound

SoftBank's mobile business returns to growth ahead of plan after three years of decline.

Robert Clark

February 7, 2024

2 Min Read
SoftBank CEO Junichi Miyakawa presenting the company's earnings results with the company's logo in front of him and a dark background behind him.
SoftBank CEO Junichi Miyakawa presenting the company's earnings results.(Source: SoftBank)

SoftBank Corp. has raised its full-year earnings forecast by 10% after strong performances by its mobile and media businesses in the December quarter.

The Japanese telco now says it expects net income of 462 billion Japanese yen (US$3.1 billion) for the financial year ending March 31, up from the JPY420 billion ($2.83 billion) guidance issued last May. CEO Junichi Miyakawa told an earnings briefing Wednesday the higher numbers were due to "the accumulation of efforts" across the company.

However, the strongest gains are forecast from the consumer and media and ecommerce segments. Of the JPY60 billion ($400 million) gain in revenue, the company expects JPY20 billion ($135 million) from the consumer unit and JPY19 billion ($128 million) from media and ecommerce.

Miyakawa said a big factor was the earlier-than-expected rebound in mobile following the launch of new price plans with bigger data bundles last October.

Japan's mobile market has been in the red for the past three years as a result of intensive price-cutting following the entry of Rakuten Mobile. But SoftBank's Q4 mobile revenue was up net 1% year on year and will likely be higher over the full year, Miyakawa said.

Surge in net adds

"We were prepared for the downward trend in sales to continue for three years. However, we were able to get out of it in two and a half years," he said.

Miyakawa also said an agreement with Sky PerfecTV to limit its satellite signal in key urban areas would benefit SoftBank’s mobile take-up by eliminating interference and allowing it to enhance its signal and coverage.

The new mobile price packages drove a surge in subs as well, with 1.56 million net adds for the quarter, taking the total to 30.2 million, up 5.4% over the previous quarter.

The media and ecommerce business grew operating income by 29% to 163.5 billion yen over the first three quarters, the result of higher revenue and lower operating costs.

The enterprise segment improved operating profit by 15% to 125 billion yen, aided by strong growth in its solutions business.

Over the nine months to December, SoftBanks's underlying net profit and operating profit were up 30% and 7% respectively, with revenue 3.8% higher at JPY4.51 trillion ($30 billion).

Reported net profit was down 20% because of a gain in the valuation of payments subsidiary PayPay last year.

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About the Author(s)

Robert Clark

Contributing Editor, Special to Light Reading

Robert Clark is an independent technology editor and researcher based in Hong Kong. In addition to contributing to Light Reading, he also has his own blog,  Electric Speech (http://www.electricspeech.com). 

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