• The Associated Press


Top chip maker Toshiba Corp. tumbled to a record annual loss amid sinking global demand that has forced it to cut thousands of jobs.

Toshiba reported Friday a ¥343.6 billion net loss for the fiscal year that ended in March, compared with a ¥127.4 billion profit a year earlier. It was the company’s biggest loss ever and its first annual net loss in seven years.

The Tokyo-based company’s annual sales declined 13 percent to ¥6.65 trillion, largely due to faltering business in semiconductors as well as digital equipment and home electronics.

For the January-March quarter alone, the company suffered a net loss of ¥184.0 billion on sales totaling ¥1.67 trillion.

Toshiba projects a net loss of ¥50 billion for the current fiscal year through next March.

The firm forecasts sales to rise modestly, to ¥6.8 trillion on an improvement in the mobile phone and chip businesses, as well as home appliances.

Toshiba said last month it was expecting a net loss of ¥350 billion for the just-ended fiscal year — up from its earlier forecast of a ¥280 billion loss — due to writing off ¥85 billion in deferred tax assets.

But Japan’s top chip maker said its operating loss was a smaller-than-expected ¥250.2 billion, versus a ¥246.4 billion profit a year earlier, cushioned by the stabilization of prices of flash memory chips used for music players and digital cameras.

Hit by a plunge in demand amid the global economic slump, Toshiba said in January it would cut 4,500 contract workers and delay or cancel investments in new chip plants.

In March, Toshiba picked a new president, Norio Sasaki, 59, who will take the helm in June following approval at a meeting of shareholders.

To solidify its hard-disk drive operations and strengthen its financial standing, the company in April finalized a ¥30 billion deal with computer maker Fujitsu Ltd.

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