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Toshiba’s Q3 losses shrink as chip business recovers

Fri, 01/29/2010 - 7:10am
The Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) – Toshiba Corp. said Friday it booked a much smaller loss in the October-December quarter than a year earlier due to a recovery in its electronic components business.

The Japanese conglomerate – whose business encompasses everything from memory chips to household electronics to nuclear power plants – said its third-quarter net loss narrowed to 10.64 billion yen ($118.5 million), from 121.14 billion yen.

Quarterly revenue rose 6 percent to 1.58 trillion yen ($17.5 billion), from 1.49 trillion yen.

Toshiba is one of the world's largest producers of NAND flash memory, the chips used for storage on portable music players, mobile phones and digital cameras.

The company suffered heavy losses in its chip business a year ago but said prices of the chips are recovering and that its cost cutting measures are taking effect.

Toshiba has now booked two straight quarters of operating profit in its semiconductor operations, after five quarters of losses.

But pulled down by losses at its liquid crystal display operations, the company's overall electronic component business had an operating loss of 7.21 billion yen ($79.8 million) in the latest quarter, compared to a massive 134.32 billion ($1.5 billion) loss a year earlier.

The smaller loss, together with a strong performance from its social infrastructure division, which includes its nuclear power operations, allowed it to climb back to an operating profit during the period. It booked a deep operating loss a year earlier.

Toshiba also lowered its revenue target for the full fiscal year through March, saying it now expects revenues of 6.4 trillion yen, down from an earlier forecast of 6.8 trillion yen. The company kept its forecast for a 50 billion yen loss for the year.

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