Tue, Feb 01, 2011 - Page 10 News List

Toshiba returns to black on demand for memory

AFP, TOKYO

Japan’s Toshiba said yesterday it swung back to a net profit for the December quarter from a year ago on strong demand for its memory chips used in smartphones and tablet computers.

The electronics giant, whose business spans consumer electronics and nuclear power plants, revised upward its full-year earnings forecast on the back of its strong third-quarter results.

REVERSAL OF FORTUNE

Toshiba reported a net profit of ¥12.4 billion (US$151 million) in the period, reversing a net loss of ¥10.6 billion a year earlier.

The profit gain was largely due to “a significantly improved performance in electronic devices, driven mainly by the return to profit of the LCD business and demand expansion in NAND flash memories,” it said in a statement.

Toshiba is the world’s second-largest maker of flash memory chips used to store data in hot-selling smartphones, tablet devices and various other consumer electronics, after Samsung Electronics of South Korea.

Operating profit saw 2.5-fold increase to ¥37.5 billion from ¥14.5 billion a year earlier. Sales edged up 1.6 percent to ¥1.6 trillion.

FORECAST

Toshiba upgraded its net profit forecast for the year to next month to ¥100 billion from its earlier estimate of ¥70 billion, while downgrading its sales forecast to ¥6.6 trillion from ¥7 trillion projected earlier.

The firm left its operating-profit estimate unchanged at ¥250 billion.

Operating profit in the company’s semiconductor business jumped to ¥11.6 billion from ¥4.7 billion a year earlier.

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