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Asia

Softbank's Debt Promise

4:30 PM -- SoftBank Corp. , an integrated service provider and Japan's third largest mobile operator, registered an operating profit of ¥359.1 billion (US$3.6 billion) for the 2008-9 financial year.

This represents a 10.7 percent rise year-on-year, and Softbank further predicted 17 percent growth for the year to come.

After six months of near radio silence from the company on its future, some observers were expecting bad news, but Softbank's chairman and CEO, Masayoshi Son, was upbeat, predicting that Softbank would have half of its interest-bearing debt paid off in two years.

The debt was accrued through the ¥2 trillion ($20.28 billion) cash purchase of Vodafone KK in 2006, the largest cash deal ever in Japan and second largest in the world, according to Son.

He said Softbank will continue to use its free cashflow to pay off the debt and expects it to be completely paid off by the end of the 2014/15 financial year.

For more info on Softbank's results and forecasts, check out this Reuters report.

— Catherine Haslam, Asia Editor, Light Reading

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