Japanese conglomerate SoftBank announced a 49% increase in its profit in the first quarter of its fiscal year 2018, driven by the sale of its share in Indian online retailer Flipkart by its Vision Fund, in addition to the sale of most of the Chinese operations of chip design unit ARM Holdings.
Vision Fund made investments of $27.1 billion in 29 firms at the end of June and raised over $93 billion in its first major close in May 2017. The fund recorded a total valuation gain of JPY245 billion for the quarter.
Telecom service revenue from its domestic operation increased 1.8% year-on-year to JPY488 billion, with a decrease of 1.6% in mobile turnover to JPY400 billion offset by a 10.5% jump in product sales to JPY147 billion.
The number of mobile subscribers who joined the operator reached 1.2 million compared to end of June 2017 with 33.6 million.
Capex increased 35% year-on-year to JPY73.1 billion, which it attributed to initiatives to expand service areas and improve the quality of LTE services.
With an increased focus on investment activity, SoftBank reported rising values from stakes in ride-hailing companies Uber and Grab. The switch of focus reflects the operator’s plans to list its Japan telecoms unit in what will be one of the country’s largest IPO.