Toshiba Back to Black

By Cindy Waxer January 31, 2011

Toshiba is back to black, thanks to a recovering global economy and increasing demand for the flash memory chips used in digital cameras and smartphones.

The electronics giant is reporting net profit of 12.4 billion yen ($151 million) in its October-December quarter compared to a net loss of 10.6 billion yen in the same period in 2009. Electronic devices, including LCDs and flash memory, generated 17.2 billion yen in operating income compared with an operating loss of 6.6 billion yen a year ago. And Toshiba's quarterly revenue increased 1.6 percent year-on-year to 1.6 trillion yen.

Research firm Gartner recently ranked flash memory as one of the top 10 strategic technologies for 2011. In fact, TechZone360.com reported earlier that Gartner has seen huge use of flash memory in consumer devices, entertainment equipment and other embedded IT systems. It also offers a new layer of the storage hierarchy in servers and client computers that has key advantages: space, heat, performance and ruggedness among them. Unlike RAM, the main memory in servers and PCs, flash memory is persistent even when power is removed. In that way, it looks more like disk drives where information is placed and must survive power-downs and reboots.

Despite the fact that over half of Toshiba's revenue stems from overseas, the company’s North America sales expanded 7.2 percent. For the fiscal year through March 2011, Toshiba expects to post a net profit of 100 billion yen, against a net loss of 19.7 billion yen a year earlier, with revenue likely to increase by 4.9 percent to 6.6 trillion yen.

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Edited by Tammy Wolf

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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