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UPDATE 1-SoftBank Group Q1 profit blows past estimates on Vision Fund gains

Sam Nussey

* Q1 operating profit 689 bln yen vs 336 bln analyst estimates

* Vision Fund profits jumped 66% to 398 bln yen

* Fund's 81 investments costing $66.3 bln now worth $82.2 bln (Recasts, adds Vision Fund, other details)

TOKYO, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Japan's SoftBank Group Corp raked in a better-than-expected quarterly operating profit due to a leap in investing gains from the $100 billion Vision Fund.

The giant technology investor's operating profit for the first quarter was 688.8 billion yen ($6.49 billion), down 3.7 percent from a year ago when results were propped up by a stake sale in chip designer Arm's China business.

The latest results outstripped a 336 billion yen estimate from five analysts compiled by Refinitiv.

SoftBank said on Wednesday its operating profit at the Saudi-backed $100 billion Vision Fund surged 66% to 397.6 billion yen for the three months ended June.

SoftBank's results have been increasingly volatile as founder and Chief Executive Masayoshi Son shifts focus from the predictable income of telecoms in favor of bets on fast-growing startups with shifting valuations.

The group said the fund's $66.3 billion investments in 81 companies are now worth $82.2 billion.

The results comes as SoftBank prepares to launch a second Vision Fund for which it said last week it has secured $108 billion in pledges.

SoftBank plans to commit $38 billion to the new fund. It will be reliant on proceeds from the first Vision Fund to bankroll the contribution, a source has told Reuters.

CEO Son will speak at a news conference from 1600 local time (0700 GMT). ($1 = 106.2000 yen) (Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Himani Sarkar)