By Kosaku Narioka

SoftBank Group reported a narrower fiscal-year net loss, helped by a recovery in its technology funds business.

The Japanese tech investment company said Monday that it booked a net loss of 227.65 billion yen ($1.46 billion) for the year ended March, compared with a Y970.14 billion net loss the previous year. The result was worse than the estimated Y99.3 billion profit in a poll of analysts by data provider Visible Alpha.

SoftBank's Vision Funds business posted a profit of Y128.18 billion, compared with a loss of Y4.308 trillion the previous year. Tech stocks have surged in recent months thanks to enthusiasm over artificial intelligence and the prospects of potential Federal Reserve rate cuts later this year.

On Wednesday, U.K. chip-design unit Arm Holdings posted a sharp increase in net profit for the three months ended March as revenue jumped, supported by higher demand for AI and data centers.

SoftBank Group's 90% stake in Arm now makes up a big chunk of the Japanese investment company's portfolio, after it cashed in on its stake in Alibaba Group Holding over the years and reduced its concentration in China.

The Japanese company booked a net profit of Y231.08 billion in its fourth quarter, given a net loss of Y458.72 billion in the preceding nine months, according to a Wall Street Journal calculation. That marked its second consecutive quarterly profit but was below the estimated net profit of Y417.4 billion in the Visible Alpha poll.

SoftBank Group's startup investments had suffered losses earlier in 2023 as central banks raised rates to rein in inflation, causing selloffs in the tech sector.

Fiscal-year revenue increased 2.8% to Y6.757 trillion.

Write to Kosaku Narioka at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-13-24 0326ET