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Toshiba Corp. on Tuesday reported 38.8 billion yen in group net profit for the first half of fiscal 2006, more than double from last year, thanks to robust earnings in semiconductor and liquid crystal display businesses and a one-time gain on sales of fixed assets.

Operating profit in the April-September period climbed 27 percent, year-on-year, to 65.2 billion yen on sales of 3.16 trillion yen, up 9 percent.

Sales in Toshiba’s digital products segment — the company’s largest by sales and includes televisions and personal computers — rose 13 percent to 1.3 trillion yen.

Despite this, Toshiba incurred a 7.6 billion yen operating loss from the business that it attributed to a drop in PC prices of about 50 percent.

Last year the electronics giant logged an operating profit of 6.7 billion yen in the digital products business.

“Even though we upgraded our PCs by adding more features and functions, we couldn’t pass the costs on to consumers,” Toshiba Executive Vice President Fumio Muraoka said.

Muraoka declined to give specifics on the impact of the Sony battery recall on its PC business, saying the company did not have a cost figure for the recall in the first half.

Toshiba spent $4.6 billion to acquire a 77 percent stake in U.S.-based nuclear power plant maker Westinghouse Electric Co. from British Nuclear Fuels PLC. It said its debt-to-equity-ratio rose to 123 percent at the end of September, up from 92 percent at the end of March.

Toshiba took out bank loans for the purchase. The company hopes to recoup its investment within 17 years.

For the full year, Toshiba forecasts sales of 6.75 trillion yen and a net profit of 110 billion yen.

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