Toshiba revises financial outlook on quake, tsunami impact

Toshiba's sales slid after Japan's two natural disasters

Toshiba won't be able to meet its full-year revenue and profit forecasts due to the impact of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the company said Tuesday.

The company shaved ¥200 billion (US$2.4 billion) off its sales forecast, which now stands at ¥6.4 trillion for the year to the end of March, and ¥10 billion off its operating income forecast.

The revisions represent respective drops of 3 percent and 4 percent to the previous forecasts that were made on January 31. Then, the company also cut its sales forecast, citing factors including the strength of the Japanese yen and the merger of its mobile phone business with that of Fujitsu to form a joint venture.

There is some good news in the new forecast. Toshiba expects net profit for the year will be ¥135 billion, a jump of ¥35 billion on its January forecast, thanks to lower-than-expected non-operating expenses.

The earthquake and tsunami struck three weeks before the end of Japan's financial year. Toshiba is about halfway through calculating full-year financial results, which are due to be announced on May 9.

The pair of natural disasters left more than 27,000 people dead or missing and wrecked buildings and other infrastructure along hundreds of kilometers of Japan's eastern coast. A subsequent crisis at a nuclear power plant and electricity shortages left the nation in shock and led to many people staying at home and putting off big-ticket purchases such as the televisions and laptop PCs for which Toshiba is known.

The company also sustained damage to some of its factories and halted some production lines. Affected factories have restarted operations, but some won't be back to full capacity until the end of April.

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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