Softbank 3Q net profit doubles on iPhone, iPad sales, but April-Dec. earnings down

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TOKYO - Japanese phone company Softbank, owned by billionaire Masayoshi Son, says its net profit more than doubled in the October-December quarter from a year earlier, helped by strong sales of Apple's iPhone and iPads.

Net profit rose to 65.9 billion yen ($724 million) in the last quarter of 2012 compared with 32.83 billion yen a year earlier.

Sales rose 7 per cent to 932.7 billion yen ($10.2 billion).

Softbank is seeking approval from U.S. authorities for its $20 billion purchase of a 70 per cent stake in Sprint Nextel Corp. that would be Japan's biggest foreign acquisition ever.

Softbank, which also offers fixed-line broadband services, has carried out an aggressive marketing drive in recent years, starring a talking white dog that has proved popular among Japanese.

Organizations: Softbank, Apple, Sprint Nextel Corp.

Geographic location: TOKYO, U.S., Japan

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