TOKYO, July 30 (Reuters) - Japanese mobile carrier SoftBank Corp’s profit surged to a quarterly record as it consolidated online game maker Gungho Online Entertainment under billionaire founder Masayoshi Son’s drive to build a mobile Internet empire.
SoftBank, which this month completed a $21.6 billion purchase of No.3 U.S. mobile carrier Sprint Corp and stands to reap a multibillion dollar windfall from a planned IPO of Chinese Internet retailer Alibaba, said its April-June operating profit nearly doubled to 391.03 billion yen ($3.99 billion).
The company issued a new forecast for consolidated operating profit of 1 trillion yen for the full year to March 2014, in line with the average forecast of five analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S of 1.01 trillion yen.
With Tuesday’s result, SoftBank is on track to leapfrog bigger Japanese mobile carriers NTT DoCoMo Inc and KDDI Corp, with its Apple Inc iPhone business and an increasingly valuable collection of mobile and Internet holdings.
SoftBank has been poaching subscribers from NTT DoCoMo, an original pioneer of the mobile Internet that has yet to offer the iPhone to its subscribers, opting instead to focus on developing its own services. DoCoMo’s first-quarter operating profit fell 5.8 percent.