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    Japan’s SoftBank returns to profit as investments rebound

    TOKYO (AP) – Japanese technology investor SoftBank Group Corp reported on Friday a JPY3 trillion yen profit for the July-September quarter, a sharp reversal from its loss a year ago.

    After its JPY398 billion loss a year earlier, quarterly sales rose to JPY1.6 trillion from JPY1.5 trillion, it said.

    Tokyo-based SoftBank Group tends to have fluctuating and complex financial results because it invests in an array of companies, and their stock prices have shifted lately, depending on various global factors.

    Among the factors boosting its bottom line were profiting from prepaid contracts using Alibaba shares, reduction of interest-bearing debt and investment gains, SoftBank said.

    The settling of prepaid shares in e-commerce giant Alibaba alone brought in more than JPY4 trillion.

    SoftBank invests in hundreds of companies, including mobile carrier SoftBank, web services provider Yahoo and vehicle-for-hire company Didi.

    A man walks in front of a SoftBank shop in Tokyo. PHOTO: AP

    It also is involved in the Vision Fund that includes other global investors. Meanwhile its holdings in Alibaba worked as a plus for its bottom line, its Vision Fund investments hurt, according to SoftBank.

    Vision Fund One recorded gains on some investments such as Uber Technologies but had losses on others including Door Dash. Vision Fund Two racked up losses because of the share price decline of WeWork, SoftBank said in a statement.

    Uncertainties remain, including soaring material costs and higher interest rates in the United States (US) said Chief Financial Officer Yoshimitsu Goto. The weakening yen against the US dollar worked as a plus overall for SoftBank, at least on the books, he said.

    He said an initial public offering of United Kingdom-based Arm is still in the works. SoftBank owns Arm, a leader in chip design.

    “We remain on the defensive, for now, taking a conservative view, although we plan to go on the offensive someday,” Goto said of the company’s investment plans.

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