According to this announcement, SoftBank Corp. booked a 37% decrease for YoY net profits in the third quarter to Dec. 31st 2008. Net sales in the mobile communications segment dipped 5.7% while operating income in that category was off by 8.8%. For their fiscal year ending March 31st, the company kept the profit forecast unchanged at 340 billion yen, or approx. $3.7Bn, which would reflect a nearly 5% gain on the previous year.
Mobile Communications Segment: Key Indicators
– Total number of subscribers ending December 2008 at 19.99 million (1.41 million increase)
– No. 1 in monthly net additions for 20 consecutive months through December 2008
– 3G subscription ratio as of the end of December 2008 was 86.2% (10.6 percentage increase)
– Total ARPU in the third quarter was 4,090 yen (a decline of 220 yen YoY)
– Voice ARPU in the third quarter was 2,300 yen (a decline of 410 yen YoY)
– Data ARPU in the third quarter was 1,790 yen (an increase of 190 yen YoY)
– The churn rate for the third quarter was 0.91% (0.28 percentage improvement )
– The upgrade rate for the third quarter was 1.67% (0.26 percentage improvement)
While there are many angles to view this from one of the most challenging – for all operators – is quite clearly data ARPU increases are not balancing the continued downward trend in Voice revenues. Thanksfully for SBM the mobile divisions contribution to other core operations, such as Yahoo Search and Auctions, might at least help offset the sting.