SoftBank Group Corp, which owns a majority stake in US operator Sprint, has released its consolidated financial report for the nine-month period ended 31 December 2016, highlighting a 99.9% increase in net income attributable to shareholders, to JPY857.431 billion (USD7.7 billion) from JPY428.972 billion in the corresponding period a year earlier, although net sales slipped marginally by 0.3% to JPY6.581 trillion. The group noted that the strong performance was fuelled by shrinking losses at its American subsidiary, and further bolstered by the strength of its Domestic Telecommunications business. Operating income climbed by 18.0% year-on-year to JPY949.660 billion and pre-tax income rose to JPY975.257 billion from JPY848.105 billion. However, SoftBank stopped short of providing a full year forecast (i.e. year-ending 31 March 2017), reflecting on what it termed ‘a large number of uncertain factors affecting earnings,’ going on to add: ‘The Company will announce its forecasts on the consolidated results of operations when it becomes possible to make a rational projection’.
The group’s Domestic Telecommunications segment – which includes mobile, broadband and fixed telephony services in Japan – booked net sales of JPY2.401 trillion in its fiscal 9M16/17, up 2.5% y-o-y, in a period in which the carrier concentrated its efforts on acquiring and maintaining ‘main subscribers,’ who are the users of smartphones, feature phones, tablets, and mobile data communication devices, it said. Of the total, some JPY1.829 trillion was telecom service revenue (+2.0%) which it said was driven by subscriber growth for its ‘SoftBank Hikari’ fibre-optic product, although mobile sales fell 2.0% to JPY1.434 trillion, mainly due to an increase in the total amount of discounts offered via its discounted ‘Home Bundle Discount Hikari Set’. Operationally speaking, SoftBank Group Corp closed out December 2016 with a total of 32.230 million mobile customers (main subscribers), up from 32.038 million at end-March 2016, while the broadband arm added a net 780,000 subscribers for a total of 5.860 million.