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Japan's SoftBank logs record profit after Sprint deal

Japan's SoftBank said Wednesday net profit in the past fiscal year surged 41.5 per cent to a record $5.18 billion -- making it the country's most profitable mobile phone firm.

TOKYO: Japan's SoftBank said Wednesday net profit in the past fiscal year surged 41.5 per cent to a record $5.18 billion -- making it the country's most profitable mobile phone firm.

The company said the net profit of 527.04 billion yen ($5.18 billion) was boosted by a 108.2 per cent surge in sales to 6.67 trillion yen, which was helped by its first income from newly acquired US giant Sprint Nextel.

Also driving sales was strong demand for Apple's iPhone in the Japanese market, where SoftBank led rivals.

Softbank embarked on a series of buy-outs last year, most notably that of Sprint, the third biggest US carrier, in a deal worth almost $22 billion. It is now looking to merge Sprint with T-Mobile as it looks to take on AT&T and Verizon in the massive US market.

However, such as move would face intense scrutiny from wary US regulators; a prior effort to sell T-Mobile to AT&T was shot down by regulators in 2011.

Softbank last year also took a majority stake in Finnish game maker Supercell, creator of the popular "Clash of Clans", last year, when it also became the top shareholder of Japanese game developer GungHo Online Entertainment.

In the current year to March 2015, SoftBank said it expected an operating profit of 1.0 trillion yen on sales of 8.0 trillion. It did not provide a net profit forecast.

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