Japanese telecoms operator Softbank Group Corp, which changed its name from simply Softbank Corp effective 1 July 2015, has announced a 9.8% year-on-year increase in net sales to JPY2.139 trillion (USD17.1 billion) for the fiscal first quarter to 30 June 2015, aided it said by increases in net sales from all operating segments. The Group’s domestic operations reported a 6.9% rise in net turnover to JPY712.7 billion, while its US Sprint Corp segment’s net sales climbed 4.7% y-o-y to JPY937.8 billion helped by the yen’s depreciation against the US dollar in the period under review. Consolidated operating income reached JPY343.5 billion (+7.6%), driven by subscriber growth both at home and abroad, and net income from continuing operations stood at JPY256.9 billion, up a significant 156.1% from JPY100.3 billion in the year-earlier period. Further, Softbank noted that its April-June operating profit rose to JPY343.6 billion from JPY319.4 billion a year ago, helped by the boost from Sprint and growth in smartphone customers at its domestic telecoms business. That was better than the JPY320 billion average of three analysts’ estimates surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
Buoyed by improvements at the loss-making Sprint, Softbank has announced a JPY120 billion share buyback programme and confirmed it sees ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for its American venture. Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son reportedly attributed the surprise share buyback initiative to its ‘lacklustre share price’ and renewed confidence in Sprint which Softbank bought for more than USD20 billion in 2013 but has struggled to turn around.