SoftBank doubles group net profit in April-December

SoftBank Group Corp. said Wednesday its group net profit roughly doubled in the April-September period from a year earlier to ¥857.43 billion ($7.64 billion), helped by solid telecommunications business and improving profitability at its U.S. subsidiary Sprint Corp.

Operating profit in the nine months through December stood at ¥949.66 billion, up 18 percent from a year earlier, but sales edged down 0.3 percent to ¥6.58 trillion, hurt by the yen’s appreciation.

Telecommunications business sales in Japan increased to ¥2.4 trillion, up 2.5 percent from a year earlier.

SoftBank has not released earnings forecasts for the full business year through March, citing uncertainty.

The telecommunication giant, which also offers broadband services, is focusing on the internet of things, networking connecting everything from home appliances to cars and factories.

Last year, the company bought British semiconductor designer ARM Holdings PLC for $31 billion, one of the largest foreign acquisitions by a Japanese company. ARM processor designs are licensed to a wide range of companies.

In December, CEO Masayoshi Son met Donald Trump before he assumed the U.S. presidency, telling him SoftBank plans to invest $50 billion in the United States and create 50,000 new jobs.

As a first step, SoftBank announced it will invest $1 billion in a U.S. satellite communications startup.

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