SoftBank Corp sees acquisitions as key to growth

12 May 2021

SoftBank Corp’s incoming president and CEO Junichi Miyakawa has set out a new strategy to diversify beyond its traditional telecoms services, ringfencing between JPY40 billion and JPY50 billion (USD368 million and USD460 million) per annum to invest in new businesses aligned to support payment service PayPay and messaging app Line. Mobile World Live notes that as part of its new initiative, SoftBank has announced plans to acquire a 23% stake in Axiata Digital Advertising for about USD60 million. Further, Miyakawa is quoted as stating the exigent need for his company to strengthen its presence in new business areas given an anticipated fall of up to JPY70 billion in mobile pricing in fiscal 2021 (ending 31 March 2022).

SoftBank Corp booked net income of JPY57.5 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter (to end-March 2021), up 57.6% year-on-year, as revenue grew by 6.0% to JPY5.5 trillion. The carrier noted that (consumer) service revenue improved 2.1% to JPY410.8 billion and equipment sales rose 21.6% to JPY157.8 billion as the total number of mobile subscribers on its books increased by 1.507 million to 47.285 million, broken down as ‘Main subscribers’ (37.910 million), ‘Communications modules’ (8.714 million) and ‘PHS’ (660,000); ARPU fell 1.6%, however, to JPY4,260. Despite the uptick in subscribers, SoftBank remained coy about how many have signed up to its fledgling 5G NSA network, and indeed only stated its intention to launch a 5G SA network in the coming financial year with a target of 90% population coverage by early-2022. Enterprise sales, meanwhile, increased 9.5 % on an annualised basis to JPY183.9 billion, its distribution business was up 27.7% at JPY151.6 billion, and Yahoo Japan stood at JPY332 billion (+13.2%).

Japan, SoftBank Corp