Tokyo - Toshiba reported sales of TV sets declined in its fiscal first quarter, while, at the same time, prices of projection TVs substantially fell in North America.
Overall sales of cellular phones increased slightly over the same period a year ago, with cellular phones with cameras saw growth in Japan that compensated for lower sales in North America.
As a result, fiscal first quarter sales in Toshiba's consumer electronics digital products segment dropped 7 percent, to $3.6 billion, down from $3.9 billion in the year-ago three months. The company said lower dollar sales of personal computers in overseas markets, despite increased unit sales, did much to affect the CE segment slide.
The CE digital products segment moved into the red during the first quarter, recording an operating loss of $144.6 million, compared with a profit of $21.7 million year-on-year. Toshiba placed the blame for the loss largely on significant sales price erosion
Overseas sales to North America in the first quarter plunged 30 percent, down to $1.2 billion, from $1.7 billion in the 2002 first three months.
Toshiba's consolidated sales in the first quarter, ended June 30, hit $9.3 billion, off 6 percent from the $9.9 billion registered year over year. Of this decline, 60 percent, or about $346.1 million, was attributable to transfers of businesses form the parent company to joint ventures or other companies not consolidated in Toshiba's results.
First quarter consolidated operating loss at Toshiba increased to $344.3 million, compared with a loss of $219 million in the same three months a year ago. Consolidated net loss also soared, about doubling to $307.1 million, up from a $156.7 million loss in the same quarter last year.