Japan's SoftBank back in the black as investments improve

SoftBank, which invests in an array of companies, has sold the US carrier Sprint, as well as British IoT company Arm. It has also sold some of its stake in Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba to raise cash for more investments.
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Japanese technology company SoftBank Group Corp. said on Monday it restored its profitability in the last quarter as its investments improved in value.

The Tokyo-based company reported a 627 billion yen, or about $6.1 billion profit in July-September, compared with a loss of 700 billion yen in the same quarter of 2019.

SoftBank said its quarterly sales rose nearly 5 percent to 1.35 trillion yen, or $13 billion, from 1.29 trillion yen.

SoftBank's Vision Fund also has become profitable recently.

SoftBank, which invests in an array of companies, has sold US carrier Sprint, as well as British IoT company Arm. It has also sold some its stake in Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba to raise cash for more investments.

Sprint merged with T-Mobile in April, which means Sprint is no longer part of SoftBank's group or earnings.

The company's chief executive, Masayoshi Son, has described hardships from the coronavirus pandemic to those of the Great Depression.

But the crisis has proven to be a plus for some technology companies as people stuck at home gear up to work remotely and shop online.

Some startups SoftBank has banked on have played out better than others.

Office-sharing company WeWork also slammed earnings last year. But SoftBank still has hopes for WeWork's potential in some markets such as Japan, where interest remains even with the pandemic.

SoftBank also has investments in Yahoo! Japan and the Pepper companion robot, and in its SoftBank mobile carrier in Japan, the first to offer the iPhone in Japan.

In another development, Vision Fund CEO Rajeev Misra including three more internal directors steps down from the board in order to make way for external members and better its corporate governance according to company statement.

Along with Misra, Marcelo Claure, chief operating officer; Katsunori Sago, chief strategy officer; and Yasir O. Al-Rumayyan from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund will also leave the board.

(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)

Edited by Megha Reddy

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