SoftBank returns to profit as investments rebound

TOKYO, Nov 12 (AP) - Japanese technology investor SoftBank Group Corp. reported on Friday a 3 trillion yen ($21 billion) profit for the July-September quarter, a sharp reversal from its loss a year ago.

After its 398 billion yen loss a year earlier, quarterly sales rose to 1.6 trillion yen ($11 billion) from 1.5 trillion yen, it said.

Tokyo-based SoftBank Group tends to have fluctuating and complex financial results because it invests in an array of companies, and their stock prices have shifted lately, depending on various global factors.

Among the factors boosting its bottom line were profits from prepaid contracts using Alibaba shares, reduction of interest-bearing debt and investment gains, SoftBank said. The settling of prepaid shares in e-commerce giant Alibaba alone brought in more than 4 trillion yen ($28 billion).

SoftBank invests in hundreds of companies, including mobile carrier SoftBank, web services provider Yahoo and vehicle-for-hire company Didi.

It also is involved in the Vision Fund that includes other global investors.

While its holdings in Alibaba worked as a plus for its bottom line, its Vision Fund investments hurt, according to SoftBank. ...continue reading


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