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Business deals

SoftBank hedges bet on mobile with Yahoo deal

Investment giant looks to diversify carrier unit as profit outlook dims

SoftBank Corp. President Ken Miyauchi, left, shakes hands with Yahoo Japan President Kentaro Kawabe after the May 8 announcement of a deal to make Yahoo a consolidated subsidiary. (Photo by Toshiki Sasazu)

TOKYO -- SoftBank Group's plan to essentially transfer its Yahoo Japan stake to mobile unit SoftBank Corp. aims to help the cash cow subsidiary reduce dependence on a telecom industry now facing headwinds that threaten to knock the conglomerate's growth strategy off course.

The deal was announced Wednesday alongside SoftBank Corp. earnings for fiscal 2018 that President Ken Miyauchi called "robust." Revenue climbed 5% to 3.75 trillion yen ($33.9 billion), while operating profit rose 13% to 719.4 billion yen. The number of smartphone subscribers jumped nearly 10%, well above the 3% growth logged by rival NTT Docomo.

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