Japan-based multinational conglomerate holding company SoftBank Group Corp booked net sales of JPY2.630 trillion (USD25.5 billion) for the six months ended 30 September 2020, up 3.6% from JPY2.540 trillion in the corresponding period of 2019, as net income attributable to shareholders ballooned to JPY1.883 trillion from JPY421.552 billion – largely due to gains related to the merger of Sprint with T-Mobile US in the United States. However, Masayoshi Son’s group reported a JPY131.7 billion loss from speculating in tech stock firms as its efforts to diversify into other markets flopped. Income before tax climbed 22.9% to JPY1.441 trillion, although SoftBank has dropped reporting ‘operating profit’ as a key metric, citing a shift away from running businesses to investments in various tech industries. ‘Instead, “gain (loss) on investments” will be used in order to show investment performance in the consolidated financial results,’ it said.
In its filing, SoftBank confirmed that, having reached an agreement to sell its US cellphone distributor Brightstar on 17 September 2020, it completed the transaction on 22 October – part of ongoing measures to shed telecoms assets and shore up its cash reserves. Son reportedly offloaded the money-losing firm to a newly formed subsidiary of private equity firm Brightstar Capital Partners ‘for cash plus a 25% stake in the subsidiary,’ with the CEO adding that ‘Brightstar Capital, founded by a former chief operating officer (COO) at the handset distributor, has USD2.1 billion in assets under management and is not affiliated with Brightstar’. Following the re-classification of Brightstar as a ‘disposal group classified as held for sale’, Brightstar was removed from the Group’s reportable segments from the second quarter.