May 28, 2024 494

Arm owner SoftBank reports £1.2bn profit as it shifts towards AI


"The Japanese tech investor SoftBank made a profit for the second consecutive quarter as it tries to turn its performance around before big planned investments in artificial intelligence."

SoftBank has reported a net income of 231 billion yen (£1.18 billion) in the first quarter of 2024, marking its second consecutive profitable quarter. This is a significant turnaround from a 57.6 billion yen loss in the same period last year. Despite this quarterly gain, the company still ended its financial year with a 227 billion yen loss.

One of the major contributors to SoftBank's positive quarter was its investment in the UK-based chip designer Arm. While gains from Arm do not directly impact SoftBank's profits, the value of Arm's shares listed on the Nasdaq has increased by 60% in 2024. This appreciation is part of SoftBank's broader strategy, spearheaded by CEO Masayoshi Son, to focus more on AI technologies.

SoftBank's recent investment activities include leading a $1 billion funding round for the UK autonomous driving tech company Wayve. Additionally, reports suggest that SoftBank is in discussions to acquire British AI chipmaker Graphcore. Despite some setbacks, such as losses in the Saudi-backed Vision Funds and the bankruptcy of WeWork, SoftBank continues to pursue ambitious investments in the tech sector.