Japan's Toshiba beats forecasts on power system sales
By Mari Saito
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese electronics conglomerate Toshiba Corp trumped forecasts with a more than doubling of its quarterly profit on Tuesday, boosted by strong overseas earnings from sales of power systems and other energy products despite sluggish chip sales.
Toshiba, Japan's leading chipmaker and the world's No.2 maker of NAND flash memory chips, logged an operating profit of 11.47 billion yen ($147 million) in the April-June quarter, up from 4.12 billion yen a year ago when Japanese firms were hit by the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami.
The results beat expectations for a profit of around 7.8 billion yen, but the company held steady its forecast for an operating profit of 300 billion yen for the full year to March 2013.
Toshiba said in May it aimed to more than double its annual operating profit in three years by expanding its social infrastructure business, which makes products ranging from elevators to medical systems to nuclear power plants, and boosting sales of electronic devices.
It has already scaled back its loss-making television business, and earlier this month was forced to cut back its NAND memory production by 30 percent due to falling prices of USBs and memory cards, as well as oversupply.
"This quarter (April-June) we saw a particularly large decline in prices for semiconductors, NAND flash memory chips," said Toshiba Corporate Executive Vice President Makoto Kubo at a news briefing.
"In overall electronic devices division sales, hard disk drives and storage sales remained positive, while the strong yen and the declining prices of memory chips cut into its sales," he said.
Toshiba's flagship NAND memory chips, the biggest single swing factor in the company's results, are used in Apple Inc's popular iPhones as well as fast-selling tablet devices. Continued...