Japan-based fixed and mobile carrier SoftBank Group Corp said its annual profit dropped 29% for the year to 31 March 2016, down to JPY474.2 billion (USD4.36 billion), adversely impacted by ongoing issues surrounding efforts to turn round struggling US mobile subsidiary Sprint Corp. Further, the Tokyo-headquartered company reported that profits in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year plunged 49% to JPY45.2 billion, even though it claims to have seen some recent signs of a turnaround at the US business. Chief executive officer Masayoshi Son has reiterated his promise that the bad news at Sprint is about to end and a revival will soon begin. Nevertheless, whilst SoftBank’s mobile and broadband business in Japan is not lagging, it is not expected to grow in coming years, so the company is reportedly considering options for further overseas growth. ‘On my pride, I promise a V-shaped recovery,’ Son said, stressing that he remains bullish about ‘investing in India and other emerging markets’, where he said entrepreneurship is ‘thriving like the Silicon Valley of the past’.
More positively, SoftBank booked consolidated net sales of over JPY9.2 trillion – up 8% on an annualised basis – as Sprint Corp improved sales by 2% y-o-y (to JPY3.9 trillion) and the group’s domestic activities contributed a further JPY3.1 trillion (up 4%). Adjusted EBITDA of JPY2.4 trillion marked a significant improvement of 19% y-o-y, and EBIT climbed 9% to JPY999.5 billion despite an 8% dip in income at Sprint to JPY61.5 billion.