• Kyodo

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Toshiba Corp. said Thursday it will stop developing and selling televisions in North America, licensing the business to a Taiwanese firm, as the Japanese electronics-maker showed robust earnings for the April to December period.

Toshiba, facing intensifying price competition in the global TV market, is also considering a similar exit from markets outside Japan, it said.

The company will license the North American TV operation to Compal Electronics Inc. of Taiwan starting in March, while also aiming to conclude negotiations in April to sell its television brand in other markets.

Toshiba had launched large-screen TVs and other value-added products while cutting costs. But it decided to establish a new business structure, given that “growth of the global market is slowing down,” it said.

For the April-December period, Toshiba’s group operating profit gained 6.2 percent from a year earlier to a record ¥164.81 billion.

Profits in its electronics devices division, covering flash memory chips for smartphones and tablets, as well as in other segments such as power generation and infrastructure more than offset a charge for streamlining the personal computer business, Toshiba said.

Net profit grew 85.9 percent to ¥71.91 billion on sales of ¥4.72 trillion, up 4.1 percent.

Toshiba maintained its full-year earnings forecasts for the current business year through March, projecting a net profit of ¥120 billion, more than double from the previous year. It also forecast operating profit of ¥330 billion, up 13.5 percent, on sales of ¥6.7 trillion, up 3 percent.

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