• Kyodo

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Toshiba Corp. said Tuesday it will boost cooperation with U.S. firm Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group Inc. in the thermal power generation business to jointly develop markets in the United States and India.

Based on a memorandum of understanding, they will explore the joint development of advanced next-generation thermal and solar power technologies for the world market, Toshiba said.

In the U.S. market, the companies aim to capitalize on Toshiba’s capability in steam turbine and generator technologies as well as the U.S. company’s advantages in steam generation systems, Toshiba said.

The two companies also plan to expand their businesses in India, where significant growth in demand for power is expected, Toshiba said.

“Toshiba will promote enhanced efforts to reinforce its presence in other markets around the world, including Asia, where demand for supercritical thermal power systems is strong,” the company said in a news release.

The announcement came a day after Toshiba reported that it returned to the black in fiscal 2010, booking a group net profit of ¥137.85 billion against a loss of ¥19.74 billion in the previous year on brisk sales of memory chips amid growing demand for smartphones.

As the electronics company expects favorable sales of memory chips to continue in the current fiscal year through next March, it projects its group net profit to rise 1.6 percent from the previous year to ¥140 billion.

It forecasts that its operating profit will increase 24.9 percent to ¥300 billion on sales of ¥7 trillion, up 9.4 percent.

Fumio Muraoka, corporate senior executive vice president, said the March 11 earthquake and tsunami will cut Toshiba’s sales by about ¥300 billion this fiscal year, but the company plans to offset the loss by depending on growing demand in emerging economies and reconstruction demand.

In the just-ended year, its consolidated operating profit surged 91.8 percent to ¥240.27 billion on group sales of ¥6.40 trillion, up 1.7 percent.

Toshiba said its sales of NAND flash memory chips and liquid crystal display panels increased, backed by expanding demand for mobile devices such as tablet computers and smartphones.

Its social infrastructure business remained almost flat due partly to sluggish demand, but Toshiba expects the business to expand in the current business year backed partly by reconstruction demand, Muraoka said.

Following the nuclear power plant crisis in Fukushima Prefecture, Toshiba is “closely examining” whether the company will need to revise its nuclear business, which makes up about 9 percent of the company’s sales, Muraoka said.

But he added the accident is unlikely to affect its nuclear power business in the long haul as many countries such as the U.S., China and France have said they will keep their plans to promote nuclear power intact.

Sales of air conditioners and other electronic appliances increased in fiscal 2010 due to an unusually hot summer and the government’s incentives for the purchase of energy-saving consumer appliances.

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