Softbank posts $12.4m profit in latest quarter

14 Aug 2006

Softbank posted a 1.42 billion yen ($12.4 million) profit for the first fiscal quarter as its revenue got a boost from a recent acquisition of the Japan mobile phone unit of British carrier Vodafone, the Japanese Internet and telecommunications service company said.

Softbank, which acquired Vodafone Group's Japan unit in April, saw its wide-ranging operations, including fixed line, broadband and mobile operations improve profitability.

The Tokyo-based company, which owns a stake in the Japanese Yahoo! Internet portal, had recorded an 11.15 billion yen ($96 million) loss the same period the previous year.

Quarterly sales jumped 91% to 494.23 billion yen ($4.3 billion) from 258.64 billion yen ($2.2 billion), boosted partly by rising income from its online advertising operations.

Softbank president Masayoshi Son said the results had improved dramatically from a year earlier, and promised to invest in mobile operations by beefing up handset offerings, strengthening network connectivity and delivering entertaining mobile content.

'A year seems such a long time ago,' he said in a news conference shown live via the Internet. 'Our performance has greatly improved.'

Softbank, which scored success with its broadband service Yahoo! BB in Japan, had been eager to move into the mobile phone business for some time.

Softbank has also been aggressive in offering broadband services here and dominates the country's market in IP telephony.

Its efforts have not only helped spread broadband in Japan but also brought down prices.

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