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Toshiba CE Segment Sales Rise 11%

Tokyo — High-end multifunctional cellphones and cellphone models with high design values, as well as sales of digital media, helped drive fiscal first half sales for the digital products segment at Toshiba.

Digital products, mainly consumer electronics, climbed 11 percent in the first six months, hitting $10 billion, up from $9 billion year-on-year. Sales of personal computers also contributed to the increase, rising on higher overseas business, mainly in North America and Europe.

The digital products segment operating loss was reduced by more than one half in the six months, ended Sept. 30, down to a negative $120.8 million, from a loss of $265 million in the first half of last year.

In the second quarter, sales in Toshiba’s digital products segment climbed 10 percent, hitting $5.4 billion, from a year-earlier $4.9 billion. The second quarter operating loss for the segment was reduced to $21.1 million, from a loss of $101.7 million in the same three months in 2003.

North American sales at Toshiba increased 11 percent in the first six months, reaching $3.5 billion, compared with $3.1 billion in the first half of last year. The North American market produced operating income of $63.8 million in the first half, compared with an operating loss of $2.5 million in the first half of 2003.

With the U.S. economy continuing to expand and the Japanese economy moving toward recovery, Toshiba posted a 7 percent consolidated sales increase for the first six months, climbing to $26.2 billion, from $24.6 billion. The company recorded consolidated net income of $78.9 million in the six months, compared with a year-over-year net loss of $302.9 million.

In the second quarter, consolidated Toshiba sales rose 3 percent, to $14.4 billion, from $13.4 billion, while net income for the same three months increased to $152.1 million, from $44 million in the same quarter last year.