SoftBank Expects Continued Mobile Gains

SoftBank Expects Continued Mobile Gains

SoftBank’s mobile revenue returned to growth in fiscal 2023 which ended on 30 March. The return to growth happened a year ahead of the previous guidance, with continued gains forecast as tariffs started to bottom out.

The operator expects both profit and revenue in the current fiscal year to increase by about 2%. President and CEO Junichi Miyakawa noted on an earnings call its full-year results topped upwardly revisited forecasts, noting revenue growth was driven by increases in non-telecoms businesses, while profit increased across all units, including consumer.

Miyakawa said 5G investment has run its course and capex will be controlled at JPY330 billion ($2.1 billion) annually for the next two fiscal years, and it plans to invest JPY150 billion in generative AI in the current fiscal year. Mobile revenue in fiscal Q4 rose 3.4% to JPY370.4 billion, credited to a slowdown in the decline in ARPU following price reductions implemented in 2021.

ARPU in the quarter was stable at JPY3,750. Mobile subscribers increased 6.3% to 55.6 million. It did not disclose 5G figures. Sales of devices rose 5.5% to JPY159.3 billion. Its enterprise business grew 5.9% to JPY211.1 billion; revenue from the distribution unit increased nearly 20% to JPY191 billion; and media and e-commerce sales were up 5.7% to JPY414.6 billion.

Net profit in the quarter jumped nearly fourfold to JPY82.5 billion, aided by one-off gains a year ago, with consolidated revenue flat at JPY1.57 trillion. The operator added 20,000 5G-based stations to take the total to 85,000 at the end of March. Full-year capex declined 9.1% to JPY552.2 billion, with JPY313 billion spent on 5G.