Japan tech investor SoftBank sinks into second year of losses

FILE - A man walks past a SoftBank shop in Tokyo on July 29, 2021. Japanese technology investor SoftBank Group reported Thursday, May 11, 2023, a loss of 970 billion yen ($7 billion) for the fiscal year that just ended — the second year in a row of red ink. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese technology investor SoftBank Group reported Thursday a loss of 970 billion yen ($7 billion) for the fiscal year that just ended — the second year in a row of red ink.

Tokyo-based SoftBank Group Corp. racked up a 1.7-trillion-yen ($13-billion) loss the previous fiscal year.

The latest results came from massive losses on its investments, called the SoftBank Vision Fund, amid a global plunge in technology shares.

The gains from transactions in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba were not enough to offset the investment losses, the company said in a statement.

Sales for the fiscal year, which ended in March, rose 6% from the previous fiscal year to 6.57 trillion yen ($49 billion).

SoftBank invests in a sprawling array of companies, including Uber, DoorDash, T-Mobile and Arm. But the value of its holdings declined during various economic uncertainties, including the U.S. banking crisis and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, according to SoftBank.

The company, which was the first to offer the Apple iPhone in Japan, said it will review its investment decisions more carefully and reduce debts, repeatedly emphasizing the word “defense” in its earnings presentation.

Softbank also promised to monetize some of its investments, saying it's planning an initial public offering of Arm.

Geopolitical risks remain a concern, as well as inflation and other factors that could cause a further tumble on markets, SoftBank said. But the company insisted, as it has in the past, that it was on the right track in investing in technological innovation like artificial intelligence, biotechnology, the metaverse and robotics.

SoftBank’s charismatic founder and CEO Masayoshi Son, a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, was one of the first believers in the internet business, long before the idea caught on in Japan.

SoftBank does not give earnings projections.


Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama