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Toshiba fourth quarter profit down 95 percent

Posted on Saturday, April 26 2008 @ 02:05:22 CEST by

Toshiba announced a 95 percent drop in fourth quarter net income due to falling chip prices and the HD DVD fiasco.
Toshiba, which also makes nuclear reactors and refrigerators, said it expects a net profit of 130 billion yen this year, half the mean market expectation of 264 billion yen by 17 analysts polled by Reuters.

The outlook compares with a 7.3 percent profit decline to 127.4 billion yen in the year ended March.

Earnings in its chip business this year would stay flat, Toshiba said, even while price falls in NAND -- used in digital music players, digital cameras and mobile phones -- slow to an annual 40 percent to 50 percent this business year, from a fall of a little over 50 percent in the year ended March.

"Growth will be slow in our usual earnings drivers. What will count next year is cost cuts in our home electronics business and our exit from HD DVDs," Corporate Executive Vice President Fumio Muraoka told reporters.

Toshiba's semiconductor business would earn a profit of 90 billion yen this year, from 89 billion yen last year, he said, as NAND sales growth is muted by price falls and declines in its system chip sales.

The conglomerate posted a net profit of 1.25 billion yen in January-March, against a 26.17 billion yen profit a year ago, as earnings on its semiconductor unit fell 82 percent.

Despite strong laptop sales, Toshiba's earnings were further depleted by a 108.5 billion yen loss in its next-generation DVD business, after its HD DVD format lost out to Sony Corp's (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research) Blu-ray technology. It was also hurt by slow sales of its panels for use in mobile phones.



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