Toshiba posts half-year profit

Buoyed by strong sales of semiconductors, Toshiba last week posted its first half-year profit in three years.

Consolidated group net income from April to September 30 of its 2000 fiscal year reached 53.9 billion yen ($US496 million), up sharply from a net loss of 48.3 billion yen in the corresponding period last year. Revenue rose 8 per cent to 2.83 trillion yen from the same period a year ago, the diversified electronics maker said in a statement.

In addition to strong growth in semiconductor sales and memory chips in particular, Toshiba also cited robust growth in PC peripherals and cellular phones as well as increased demand for other semiconductor products and liquid crystal displays (LCDs).

The results were in line with Toshiba's revised forecast from August, which called for net income of 50 billion yen and revenue of 2.9 trillion yen.

Looking forward, Toshiba said it now expects to post net income of 137 billion yen on revenue of 6.22 trillion yen for the full fiscal 2000 year, which ends in March 2001.

The company said it expects the second half of the fiscal year to suffer from unfavourable overseas markets, as sluggish income at US companies, high oil prices and a further decline in the value of the euro are forecast to bring an end to the high growth of the recent period.

Nevertheless, Toshiba said its semiconductor business is expected to see continued growth due to stable prices and a projected increase in unit sales.

Thirty minutes before the lunchtime break on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Monday, Toshiba shares were trading at 1,195 yen, down 25 yen on the day. The first-half results were announced after the market's close on Friday.

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