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Softbank Corp. said Wednesday it is projecting a full-year operating profit for the first time since fiscal 2000 thanks to subscriber growth in its high-speed Internet connection services.

“For fiscal 2005, we are expecting an operating profit of several tens of billions of yen,” company CEO Masayoshi Son told a news conference.

The company has been losing huge amounts of money since it started the Yahoo! BB ADSL Internet connection service, spending heavily to lure subscribers and build a network infrastructure.

The firm said there were 4.28 million fee-paying subscribers as of the end of June.

Son said he is sure Softbank will post an operating profit during the current quarter through September and after.

“In infrastructure business, the profit will rapidly increase once (revenue) tops the break-even point,” he said.

For the quarter that ended in June, the company posted an operating loss of 3.19 billion yen, an improvement from the 3.82 billion yen operating loss a year ago. Sales rose 76 percent to 258.64 billion yen due to its acquisition of Japan Telecom Co. last year.

Softbank also announced a tieup with Invoice Inc., a telecommunications billing service company, to promote its discount fixed-line service. The two will set up a joint venture that will market Softbank’s services.

Softbank will also acquire a 5 percent stake in Invoice for about 5 billion yen.

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