Toshiba Ekes out Small Operating Profit in First Half

Toshiba ended the April to September period, the first half of its fiscal year, with its operations in the black turning around losses last year although sales fell sharply and the company lost money overall, it said Tuesday.

Operating profit for the period was around ¥2 billion (US$222 million) with a net loss of ¥47 billion, Toshiba said in an earnings preannouncement. The company is scheduled to disclose full financial results on Friday.

Both the operating and net profit are better than had been forecast and the operating profit is a turn around from an operating loss last year. The operating figure measures money made or lost in the company's core business operations and excludes exceptional items and income from non-core transactions such as land sales.

Toshiba said it managed to hit an operating profit due to cost reductions at its semiconductor, digital media, power systems and industrial systems units.

Net sales for the period were around ¥3.15 trillion, a drop of 15 percent on the same period a year ago. Toshiba had been expecting sales to drop by about 10 percent and attributed the steeper fall to the influence of the strong Japanese yen and the recession.

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