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Toshiba sees profit hike on chip demand

Bloomberg

Toshiba Corp. on Wednesday forecast a 29 percent gain in full-year profit on higher demand for semiconductors and power equipment.

Net income may be ¥100 billion for the year ending March 31, compared with ¥77.5 billion a year earlier, the company said in a statement. Sales may rise 5.2 percent to ¥6.1 trillion, the company said.

Toshiba, the world’s second-biggest maker of flash memory, is focusing on its chip and energy operations while trying to rebuild its home appliance business.

Hisao Tanaka, who will succeed Norio Sasaki as president in June, plans to speed up overseas expansion to benefit from faster economic growth there than in Japan, where the population is shrinking.

Operating profit, or sales minus the cost of goods sold and selling, general and administrative expenses, may rise 34 percent to ¥260 billion this fiscal year, Toshiba said.

Net income in the three months ended March 31 fell 62 percent to ¥23 billion, Toshiba said. Sales rose to ¥1.7 trillion.

Toshiba’s television unit lost about ¥50 billion in the past financial year as the business was hurt by a weaker yen, Corporate Executive Vice President Makoto Kubo told reporters Wednesday.

The company is targeting a profit in the business in the September quarter and may raise prices for television and personal computers in Japan because of a weaker yen, he said.

Operating profit at Toshiba’s social infrastructure business, its biggest unit by sales, fell 24 percent to ¥71.2 billion in the three-month period. The division makes thermal and hydropower systems, elevators and medical devices. It gained from demand for gas-fired power stations following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Toshiba was selected to supply Tokyo Electric Power Co. with so-called smart meter systems that allow users to access data on their power use. Toshiba will be a prime contractor and system integrator of the communication system which Tepco plans to install in as many as 27 million households in the next 10 years.

Toshiba’s electronics devices unit, which makes flash memory for Apple Inc. products, had an operating profit of ¥35.7 billion last quarter.

The price of 32-gigabit NAND flash memory surged 41 percent to $4.04 in the three months ended March 31, according to TrendForce Corp.’s DRAMeXchange, Asia’s biggest spot market for the chips. The price began rising after Toshiba, the biggest supplier after Samsung Electronics Co., cut production in July.

More loans for Sharp

OSAKA
Kyodo

The main creditor banks of Sharp Corp. plan to offer ¥150 billion in fresh loans to help the struggling electronics maker rebuild its business, sources said Wednesday.

Mizuho Corporate Bank and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ had initially considered setting a ¥100 billion additional credit line but have decided to expand it to highlight their position on supporting the Osaka-based company, the sources said.

In addition, BTMU is making arrangements to dispatch Yoshihiro Hashimoto, the 56-year-old president of Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., to serve as an executive-level officer at Sharp, the sources said. Sharp plans to use the funds under the credit line to repay some of its ¥200 billion in convertible debt falling due at the end of September, the sources said.

The two banks, which offered a total of ¥360 billion in loans last September, will extend the repayment deadline set at the end of June. For its part, Mizuho has decided to send Satoshi Fujimoto, 55, who used to be an executive at the bank, to Sharp.

New Renesas chief

JIJI

Struggling chip-maker Renesas Electronics Corp. will name Hisao Sakuta, chairman of Omron Corp. , as its new chairman and chief executive officer, informed sources said Wednesday.

Renesas, which has a share of some 40 percent in the global market of microcomputers for automobiles, is hoping to capitalize on the capability of Sakuta, who led efforts to strengthen Omron’s automobile-use electronic parts business, the sources said.

Sakuta, 68, is scheduled to step down as Omron chairman June 20. Renesas President Tetsuya Tsurumaru, 58, who assumed the post in February, will remain in office.

Sakuta joined the predecessor of Omron in 1968. He became chairman in June 2011 after serving as president.