: Japan's SoftBank Group Corp on Monday reported a 50.1 per cent rise in first-quarter operating profit, after the company included Vision Fund, the world's largest private equity fund, as a new reportable segment and booked a valuation gain. The internet and telecoms giant said profit for the quarter through June increased to 479.2 billion yen ($4.33 billion). SoftBank has not released a forecast for the current business year ending March, saying there are too many uncertain factors. Thomson Reuters Starmine SmartEstimate puts full-year profit at 1.16 trillion yen, based on the estimates of 20 analysts.
SoftBank is a prolific investor in technology start-ups, with founder and chief executive officer Masayoshi Son instrumental in creating Vision Fund.
Recent investments include US online lender Kabbage Inc, which on Thursday said it had received a $250 million from SoftBank.
SoftBank also has a foothold in the US market through its wireless unit Sprint Corp, which last week reported a quarterly profit for the first time in three years as a results of cost cutting efforts.
The fourth-biggest US wireless carrier by subscribers is exploring options to boost finances and better compete, through means such as merging with T-Mobile US Inc as well as a tie-up with cable provider Charter Communications Inc.
($1 = 110.7100 yen)
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