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Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Japan: Trouble at Corporate Mill?

From time to time, some indications trickle through that all may not be as well as the optimists think it is in corporate Japan. Today we have another example from Toshiba:

Toshiba alarmed investors and watched its share price plunge on Wednesday after the company revealed a quarterly loss almost double that of last year.

Many observers had expected the net loss at Japan's biggest chipmaker to shrink in the April to June period, but instead it grew to Y36.9bn ($309m) from Y18.8bn - a rise blamed on poor consumer demand for televisions and PCs.

In response Toshiba shares plunged 8.4 per cent, compared with a 2.8 per cent fall in the electronic machinery sub-index.

Toshiba's results announcement followed news from Fujitsu on Tuesday that it would increase its loss forecast for the half-year, and helped sour the mood surrounding results season in Japan. Operating losses at Toshiba grew to Y41.3bn from Y26.3bn last year, while revenues fell 6.2 per cent to Y1,120bn. Losses per share were Y11.45. The company maintained its full-year forecasts of a Y40bn net profit and Y170bn operating profit, but some analysts said it may struggle to meet them following the dismal start to the year. Toshiba's digital products division put in a particularly poor performance, as orders for computer systems remained weak and PC prices continued to fall. Sales of household electronics, notably televisions, were also lacklustre. Profit at its chip division, however, increased thanks to revenues lifted by demand for camera-enabled mobile phones and digital cameras.
Source: Financial Times

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