Japanese telecoms conglomerate SoftBank Corp (9984.T) reported on Thursday its quarterly operating profit rose 8 percent and declared it was seeing “the light at the end of the tunnel” for its loss-making U.S. unit Sprint Corp (S.N).

SoftBank, which launched a takeover of the U.S. carrier for more than $20 billion in 2012, said its April-June operating profit rose to 343.6 billion yen ($2.75 billion) from 319.4 billion yen a year ago.

Sprint has struggled to compete against larger rivals AT&T Inc (T.N) and Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N) even while it burns through cash trying to acquire and retain customers. But in a sign of possible improvement, Sprint on Tuesday reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss and lower churn, or defections.

(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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