Toshiba Corp. announced Thursday that its full-year group net profit declined 34.3 percent in the financial year of 2013 as its nuclear power business plans took a hit following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
The electrical machinery maker's earnings fell to 50.83 billion yen (500 million U.S. dollars) in the fiscal year to March, owing to the firm's withdrawal from an optical disc drive business partnership with Korea's Samsung and losses connected to its U.S. power and infrastructure businesses.
Despite that the firm's operating profit soared 47 percent to 290.76 billion yen on sales of 6.50 trillion yen, a leap of 13.5 percent compared to a year earlier, Toshiba booked an operating loss of 31 billion yen after lowering the asset value of Nuclear Innovation North America LLC., the company said.
The move came following construction plans for the U.S. energy company's two nuclear reactors in Texas being delayed pending regulatory approval.
Toshiba on Wednesday said it had to write down more than 300 million U.S. dollars on the value of its 10 percent stake in the company and a tie-up with U.S. power company NRG Energy Inc. to build a new plant in South Texas has also been put on ice after NRG Energy pulled its investment following the Fukushima crisis.
Toshiba also booked a loss of 51 billion yen in its consumer electronics segment, but, in part, owing to robust demand for its NAND flash memory used in smartphones and tablets, Toshiba said it now expects its group net profit to more than double to 120 billion yen and its operating profit to increase 13.5 percent to a record 330 billion yen this year, on consolidated sales of 6.7 trillion yen, the firm said, an increase of 3 percent.
The firm's Senior Executive Vice President Makoto Kubo told a press briefing that the firm intends to make its consumer electronics segment more profitable going forward and plans to achieve a record operating profit this year.
"It's our minimum commitment to generate 330 billion yen in operating profit," Kubo said Thursday, indicating that a recovery in the U.S. economy would help boost the firm's overseas sales.
In other developments, Toshiba has also been linked with a possible acquisition of French giant Alstom's power-grid business.
Toshiba will offer to buy Alstom's power-grid business from General Electric, if the U.S. firm completes the purchase of 17 billion U.S. dollars for the French firm's energy businesses. Alstom may also mull a rival offer from German group Siemens AG, but the U.S. firm is seen as having the edge due to previous tie- ups with Toshiba.
"We are always considering M&A options to forward our business and we can't deny the possibility of something happening in this area, but in regard to Alstom, there is nothing concrete," a spokesperson for Toshiba was quoted as saying Thursday.
If the deal goes ahead, Toshiba would see its power-grid sales nearly triple from its current annual earnings of 300 billion yen, the Nikkei business daily said.