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Thu, Jul 31, 2003 - Page 12 News List

Toshiba widens its first-quarter loss to Japanese Yen 36.8 billion

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Toshiba Corp, Japan's largest notebook computer maker, said its fiscal first-quarter net loss almost doubled after rising competition forced price cuts for computers and televisions.

The group loss of Japanese Yen 36.8 billion (US$307 million), or Japanese Yen 11.45 a share, in the three months ended June 30, was nine times larger than analysts had expected and compared with a loss of Japanese Yen 18.8 billion, or Japanese Yen 5.84, a year ago. Sales fell 6 percent to Japanese Yen 1.12 trillion, the company said in a statement.

The Tokyo-based maker of Dynabook and Libretto notebook computers blamed the shortfall on pressure to cut the prices from Hewlett-Packard Co. Delays in releasing flat-screen liquid-crystal display television models also depressed earnings, the company said.

"Toshiba's results were pretty shocking," said Koichi Seki, an equity manager at Chuo Securities Co.

Pressure to cut prices on notebook PCs and televisions, especially in the US, ate into gains at Toshiba's semiconductor business, which posted a sevenfold increase in operating profit to Japanese Yen 15.9 billion for the second quarter of the year.

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