Japan’s third largest telecoms firm by subscribers, Softbank Corp, says its net income for the fiscal third quarter ended 31 December 2011 was slashed in two as a rise in sales-related costs undid the positive effects of higher mobile data communications revenue – driven by the sale of Apple Inc’s new iPhone 4S. The company booked net profit of JPY32.83 billion (USD430.8 million) in the period under review, down from JPY65.46 billion in the corresponding year-earlier period. Operating profit in the third quarter slipped 4% year-on-year to JPY159.56 billion from JPY166.64 billion, although on a positive note, revenue increased 10% from JPY784.88 billion to JPY862.55 billion.
The group’s Softbank Mobile unit enjoyed exclusivity over the sale of the popular iPhone devices in Japan until KDDI Corp – Japan’s second largest carrier by users – began selling the iPhone 4S in October. Softbank declined to disclose its earnings forecasts for the full year ended 31 March 2012, in line with its usual practice. It closed out 2011 with a total of just over 27.835 million mobile subscribers, up a net 936,900 in three months.