TOKYO — Japanese technology company SoftBank Group Corp. racked up a huge loss in the July-September quarter as its technology investments, most notably office-sharing company WeWork, went sour.
Tokyo-based SoftBank loss totaled 931 billion yen ($6.2 billion) in the last quarter, a reversal from the 3 trillion yen profit it posted in the same period a year earlier.
SoftBank has a sprawling investment portfolio and tends to have erratic financial results that fluctuate with market trends.
That has been highlighted by the troubles at WeWork, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week amid turmoil in the U.S. commercial real estate market after the pandemic sent vacancies soaring in major cities like New York and San Francisco.
SoftBank holds a nearly 80% stake in WeWork.
SoftBank’s chief financial officer, Yoshimitsu Goto, sought to allay investor’s worries, stressing in an online news conference that the company was still going strong overall, making cautious investment decisions and plans to keep growing.
He said WeWork’s troubles were “regrettable.” SoftBank will study what went wrong and try to do better with its future Vision Fund investments, Goto said.
SoftBank’s financial damage related to WeWork in the July-September quarter totaled 234 billion yen ($1.5 billion), according to the company, which was the first telecoms operator to bring the iPhone to Japan.
Goto gave as an example of a hopeful development the recent IPO on Nasdaq of British semiconductor and software design company Arm, which SoftBank acquired in 2016.
The listing did not directly affect SoftBank’s earnings results, but a gain of $47 billion was recorded as a capital surplus.
SoftBank’s quarterly sales were little changed, edging up to 1.67 trillion yen ($11 billion) from 1.61 trillion yen. The company does not give full year forecasts.
SoftBank used to own significant stakes in Amazon, Facebook and Alphabet but sold them a couple of years ago. SoftBank has also sold its stake in Uber to ride out hard times, and dramatically reduced its stake in Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce and technology company.
SoftBank Group Corp. shares rose 1.1% Thursday on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Yuri Kageyama is on X, formerly Twitter