May 7, 2014 / 6:31 AM / 4 years ago

Japan's SoftBank forecasts slight drop in 2014/15 operating profit

TOKYO, May 7 (Reuters) - Japan’s SoftBank Corp on Wednesday forecast its operating profit would fall by about 8 percent this financial year from last year’s record high as it loses one-off benefits from the consolidation of some of its units.

The company is still reaping gains, however, from its domestic mobile phone business and investments including its holding in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd IPO-ALIB.N.

Japan’s third-largest mobile operator said it expected 1 trillion yen ($9.85 billion) in operating profit in the year to March 2015, slightly below analysts projections of 1.09 trillion yen and below the 1.09 trillion yen operating profit it posted for the 2013/14 financial year ended on March 31.

The 2013/14 profit slightly exceeded expectations of 1.07 trillion yen, the average of 14 analysts’ estimates according to Thomson Reuters Starmine. It also surpassed profits at Japan’s biggest mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo for the first time.

SoftBank said its holding in Alibaba, which is planning a U.S. listing, added 66.78 billion yen to its pretax profit. The company said on Wednesday it had no plans to sell part of its stake in Alibaba in the upcoming initial public offering. ($1 = 101.5550 Japanese Yen) (Reporting by Sophie Knight; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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