SoftBank's net profit more than doubles as number of mobile subscribers soars

The company also benefited from consolidating two companies into its results as subsidiaries

SoftBank's net sales increased by over 21 percent in the second quarter as the company saw handset sales and subscriber numbers increase.

The Japanese company reported Tuesday that net profit was ¥263 billion (US$2.7 billion) in the quarter, up 122 percent from the same quarter a year earlier. The company had net sales of ¥881 billion in the quarter.

SoftBank adopted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) from the second quarter, prompting it to consolidate the results of gaming company GungHo Online Entertainment and mobile communications service provider eAccess, in which it holds significant stakes.

The company's domestic mobile communications business, which provides mobile communications services and sells mobile handsets, saw sales increase by 26.8 percent year on year to ¥662 billion.

SoftBank added 810,000 subscribers in its mobile business in the quarter, attracted by sales promotions or by the opportunity to buy Apple's iPhone or specialized devices including the Mimamori phone, which is a handset with a security buzzer, or PhotoVision, a digital photo frame with telecommunications functionality. The company had over 33 million mobile subscribers at the end of the quarter.

The company's Internet business also saw net sales up 18.9 percent year on year to ¥96 billion, with much of the growth coming from sponsored-search advertising. In fixed-line telecommunications, the third business for which SoftBank breaks out sales figures, net sales increased by 4.3 percent year on year to ¥133 billion, mainly as a result of making eAccess a subsidiary.

SoftBank has forecast at least ¥1 trillion in operating income under IFRS in the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2014.

Earlier this month, SoftBank completed its acquisition of a 78 percent stake in U.S. operator Sprint for US$21.6 billion.

Sprint reported a second-quarter net loss of $1.6 billion on Tuesday, weighed down by the cost of shutting its Nextel wireless network. Revenue, at $8.8 billion, was almost flat in comparison to the same quarter last year. The company dropped "Nextel" from its corporate name just a few days after shutting down the network it acquired through its 2005 purchase of Nextel.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
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