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Toshiba Corp.’s departing president, Atsutoshi Nishida, said Wednesday that cost-cutting efforts are on track as it aims to return to profitability in the current business year.

At an annual meeting of shareholders in Tokyo, Nishida said the company is aiming to slash ¥330 billion in fixed costs for fiscal 2009, which ends next March, up ¥30 billion from its previous target.

Nishida better-than-expected progress on restructuring was made in April and May.

The electronics giant, which also makes nuclear power systems and batteries, logged its biggest-ever group net loss of ¥343.56 billion in fiscal 2008, sinking into the red for the first time in seven years due mainly to losses in its chip-making division.

“We were forced to confront a temporary setback to sustainable growth amid a once-in-a-century economic crisis,” Nishida said. “But I think I was able to set out a path for recovery.”

Separately, the shareholders also approved the appointment of Corporate Senior Executive Vice President Norio Sasaki as the new chief executive, while Nishida will become chairman after serving four years as president.

Sasaki, 60, joined Toshiba in 1972 and spent most of his career in the nuclear energy and industrial system divisions.

“In view of the lessons from the economic crisis from last year, we’ll aim to build a company that’s more resistant to economic and market volatilities,” he said.

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