Japan's Toshiba boosts profit on devices, auto sector demand

Tokyo: Toshiba reported a 44 per cent improvement in profit in the last quarter as the Japanese technology giant worked to revamp its brand image and reassure investors about its management.

Tokyo-based Toshiba Corp. said on Wednesday that it recorded a 25.9 billion yen (USD 192 million) profit in the April-June period, up from 18 billion yen the year before.

Quarterly sales rose nearly 2 per cent to 740.7 billion yen (USD 5.5 billion).

Toshiba has promised to boost sales by forging ahead with clean energy, infrastructure projects, data services, devices, and storage businesses.

Profitability improved for electronic devices, storage, and digital solutions, and demand was good from the auto sector, it said.

In March, investors rejected a company-backed reform proposal to split Toshiba into two businesses.

An earlier plan that also was scrapped had called for a three-way split.

Toshiba has been studying privatisation as it tries to move ahead with its restructuring plan. It has set up a special committee that includes outside directors to oversee restructuring efforts.

Founded in 1875, Toshiba was a revered Japanese brand behind electric rice cookers and laptop computers. It sold off its prized flash memory business as its fortunes tumbled.

The company has been struggling since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011. A tsunami sent three reactors into meltdowns, spewing radiation over an area that's still partly a no-go zone.

The company is involved in the decommissioning effort, which will take decades.

It also was embroiled in problems at its former US nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2017.

Its reputation also was tarnished by an accounting scandal, which involved books being doctored for years.

Toshiba officials declined to comment on the direction of its nuclear business, noting Wednesday's event was focused on financials. They said a review was continuing. (AP) FZH


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