Tokyo — By focusing on high-value-added consumer electronics products, particularly small- to medium-sized displays, and promotions that expanded overseas sales, Toshiba was able to increase both fiscal fourth-quarter and fiscal 12-month sales in its digital products segment.
Toshiba’s digital products segment, including PCs and cellphones, reported the PC business climbed in North America, while phone sales were flat on lower sales overseas. The company also enjoyed a surge in hard disk drives for portable music players and LCD televisions.
In the three months, sales in the digital products segment, mainly consumer electronics, and Toshiba’s largest, rose 7 percent, hitting $5.2 billion, up from $4.9 billion year-on-year. For the year, segment sales increased by 11 percent, reaching $20.8 billion from $19 billion.
Although the digital products segment showed weak fourth-quarter operating-income figures, coming in at $83.2 million, down from $114.6 million year-over-year, the annual numbers were boosted by the profit return from Toshiba’s PC business, moving into the black with $67.9 million in income, compared with an operating loss of $225 million in the prior year.
Fourth-quarter sales in the electronic devices business climbed 2 percent, hitting $3.04 billion, up from $3.01 billion in the same three months last year. For the 12 months, sales also increased 2 percent, reaching $12.2 billion, compared with a year-on-year $12.1 billion.
However, even with the LCD business posting a profit, operating income was lower in both the fourth quarter and for the year. Strength of the yen and continued price declines and competition contributed to a 64 percent slide in the fourth quarter, ended March 31, with operating income coming in at $186.1 million, down from a year-earlier $529.6 million. For the 12 months, segment operating income dropped 21 percent to $864.6 million, from $1.1 billion the prior year.
Sales in North America for the 12 months rose 11 percent to $7.2 billion from $6.5 billion, while operating income climbed to $146.2 million from a year-ago $62.3 million.
Behind a plan to combine high growth with steady profitability, Toshiba posted a 2 percent consolidated sales gain in the fourth quarter, rising to $15.7 billion from a year-ago $15.6 billion. However, net income for the three months dropped 49 percent to $337.3 million from $663.7 million.
For the 12 months, consolidated sales moved up 5 percent to $54.5 billion, from $52.7 billion the prior year. Operating income slipped 11 percent to $1.4 billion from $1.6 billion, while net income increased 60 percent to $430.3 million from $272.1 million.