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Toshiba spits out tasty H1 profit

Despite 'sluggish' HDD and mobile phone sales

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Japanese electronics giant Toshiba yesterday reported a hike in first half profits, buoyed by strong demand for the firm's memory chips as well as steady growth in the computer arm of its business.

The company said revenue was up to 3.69 trillion yen ($32bn) an increase of 17 per cent in the period April to September 2007. Net earnings rose to Y45.66bn ($397m) from Y38.83bn ($338m).

Operating profit grew 38 per cent to Y61.3bn ($534m) compared to a year ago. But income before income taxes and minority interest decreased by 6.9bn yen from the same period a year ago of Y76.8bn ($667.7m).

But while Toshiba had punted its PCs particularly well in the US and Europe, it admitted that global hard disk drive and mobile phone sales had been "sluggish". It said sub-prime problems in the US had slowed expansion but Asia and Europe were still showing growth.

The firm said it chalked up a conservative overall sales profit of Y300m for its digital products sector.

Despite the firm's mixed fortunes Toshiba talked up its profit forecast for the full year.

It said operating profit should hit Y290bn, up some Y30bn on the firm's previous forecast in April.

Toshiba, which has recently upped its game in the nuclear industry with a number of key acquisitions as its television sales continued to slide, also reckoned full-year net profit would exceed original expectations from its earlier prediction of Y120bn to Y180bn.

Much of that projected profit can be accredited to a building in Tokyo that the firm sold for a staggering $1.4bn earlier this year.

The full Toshiba results can be viewed here. ®

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