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Toshiba returns to black for December quarter

TOKYO, Jan 31, 2011 – Japan\’s Toshiba said Monday it swung back to a net profit for the December quarter from a year ago on strong demand for its memory chips used in smartphones and tablet computers.

The electronics giant, whose business spans consumer electronics and nuclear power plants, revised upward its full-year earnings forecast on the back of its strong third-quarter results.

Toshiba reported a net profit of 12.4 billion yen ($151 million) in the period, reversing a net loss of 10.6 billion yen a year earlier.

The profit gain was largely due to "a significantly improved performance in electronic devices, driven mainly by the return to profit of the LCD business and demand expansion in NAND flash memories," it said in a statement.

Toshiba is the world\’s second largest maker of flash memory chips used to store data in hot-selling smartphones, tablet devices and various other consumer electronics, after Samsung Electronics of South Korea.

Operating profit saw 2.5-fold increase to 37.5 billion yen from 14.5 billion yen a year earlier. Sales edged up 1.6 percent to 1.6 trillion yen.

Toshiba upgraded its net profit forecast for the year to March to 100 billion yen from its earlier estimate of 70 billion yen, while downgrading its sales forecast to 6.6 trillion yen from 7.0 trillion yen projected earlier.

The firm left its operating-profit estimate unchanged at 250 billion yen.

Operating profit in the company\’s semiconductor business jumped to 11.6 billion yen from 4.7 billion yen a year earlier.

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