Toshiba CE Segment Claims 13% Gain

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Tokyo - Toshiba's digital media segment enjoyed a 13 percent sales gain for the year, ended March 31 due to higher overseas computer and PC peripherals and HDD/DVD recorder sales.

The segment brought in $13.8 billion in the 12 months, ended March 31, up from $12.2 billion in the year-ago period.

The digital media segment, which includes consumer electronics, moved into the black for the 12 months, with operating income hitting $77.7 million, compared with a year-earlier operating loss of $14.9 million.

In the fourth quarter, sales in Toshiba's digital media segment remained flat, at $3.49 billion, compared with $3.50 billion in the same quarter a year ago. The digital media segment also moved into the black during the fourth quarter, recording operating income of $14.7 million, compared with an operating loss of $7.5 million year-on-year.

Toshiba sales into North America for the year rose 4 percent, reaching $7.2 billion, up from $6.9 billion in the previous 12 months. For the fourth quarter, sales into North America registered a 19 percent drop, down to $1.6 billion, from $2 billion in the same three months a year ago.

Although Toshiba said the overall business environment remained challenging during the past year, its consolidated sales increased 5 percent, hitting $47.1 billion, up from $45 billion in the same 12 months the previous year.

Toshiba's consolidated earnings moved into the black during the year just ended. The company reported $962.9 million in operating income and $154.2 million in net income. This compares to an operating loss of $946.8 million and a net loss of $2.1 billion a year ago. The company attributed the profit turnaround to casting off unprofitable businesses and making business alliances with former rivals, such as its LCD deal with Matsushita Industrial Electric.

Looking ahead, Toshiba will promote its high-growth digital media segment as well as make this end of the business a focus for capital investment. The company anticipates $18.2 billion in sales of digital products for the current fiscal year, up 5 percent. Operating income of $416.8 million would mean a 25.2 percent rise.

The consolidated Toshiba forecast for the year puts net sales at $47.5 billion, a 1 percent increase over the previous 12 months. Operating income is expected to soar 54.5 percent, reaching $1.4 billion, while net income is anticipated to hit $333 million, a 21.5 percent increase.

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