Softbank posts 12.6 pct operating profit rise in Apr-Dec

TOKYO Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:26am EST

TOKYO Jan 31 (Reuters) - Softbank Corp, Japan's third largest mobile carrier, posted a 12.6 percent rise in operating profit in the nine months to December, as iPhone subscriptions stayed strong, the company said on Thursday.

Softbank, which made history last year by agreeing to buy Sprint Nextel Corp for $20.1 billion in the biggest foreign acquisition for a Japanese company to date, also said its subscribers increased 2.37 million in the nine-month period. (Reporting by Sophie Knight; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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