Softbank reports robust earnings on smartphones

TOKYO (AP) — Softbank Corp., the only Japanese mobile carrier offering the hit iPhone, said annual profit nearly doubled despite suffering damage from the March 11 quake and tsunami that battered northeastern Japan.

Softbank, which did not break down quarterly numbers, reported Monday that profit for the fiscal year ended March 31 rose to 189.71 billion yen ($2.37 billion) from 96.72 billion yen the previous year.

It said the increase was driven by a booming smart phone business that offset a special loss of 14 billion yen ($175 million) caused by the disasters.

The Tokyo-based Internet and communications conglomerate said sales for the fiscal year climbed nearly 9 percent to 3 trillion yen ($37.5 billion) from 2.76 trillion yen.

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