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SoftBank Group Q1 profit blows past estimates on Vision Fund gains

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Japan's SoftBank Group Corp raked in a better-than-expected quarterly operating profit due to a leap in investing gains from the US$100 billion Vision Fund.

[TOKYO] Japan's SoftBank Group Corp raked in a better-than-expected quarterly operating profit due to a leap in investing gains from the US$100 billion Vision Fund.

The giant technology investor's operating profit for the first quarter was 688.8 billion yen (S$8.9 billion), down 3.7 per cent from a year ago when results were propped up by a stake sale in chip designer Arm's China business.

The latest results outstripped a 336 billion yen estimate from five analysts compiled by Refinitiv.

SoftBank said on Wednesday its operating profit at the Saudi-backed US$100 billion Vision Fund surged 66 per cent to 397.6 billion yen for the three months ended June.

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SoftBank's results have been increasingly volatile as founder and chief executive Masayoshi Son shifts focus from the predictable income of telecoms in favour of bets on fast-growing startups with shifting valuations.

The group said the fund's US$66.3 billion investments in 81 companies are now worth US$82.2 billion.

The results comes as SoftBank prepares to launch a second Vision Fund for which it said last week it has secured US$108 billion in pledges.

SoftBank plans to commit US$38 billion to the new fund. It will be reliant on proceeds from the first Vision Fund to bankroll the contribution, a source has told Reuters.

CEO Mr Son will speak at a news conference from 4pm local time (3pm SGT).

REUTERS