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Toshiba, Sanyo Report Profits

October 27, 2000

TOKYO (AP) _ Toshiba Corp. was profitable in the first half of the fiscal year after a loss a year earlier, and Sanyo Electric Co.’s profit quadrupled as the economic recovery boosted sales for the Japanese electronics makers.

Toshiba said Friday it earned 53.90 billion yen ($497 million) in the April-September period after a loss of 48.46 billion yen in the first half last year. It cited strong demand for semiconductors, personal computer equipment, mobile phones and liquid crystal products.

Sales climbed 7.8 percent to 2.83 trillion yen ($26 billion) from 2.62 trillion yen a year earlier.

Toshiba said the positive trend is expected to continue in Japan, where capital investment in technology is growing. But it expected bad news overseas because of rising oil prices and the decline of the euro.

For the fiscal year ending March 2001, Toshiba predicts earnings of 137 billion yen ($1.3 billion) and sales of 6.22 trillion yen ($57.4 billion).

Sanyo Electric said its profit for the first half climbed to 20.25 billion yen ($186.8 million), up from 3.61 billion yen in the previous year.

Sales climbed 10 percent to 1.06 trillion yen ($9.8 billion) from 959 billion yen a year ago on strong demand for information and technology-related equipment. Sales of audio visual products, digital cameras and semiconductors were also good, with sales growing both at home and overseas, Sanyo said.

For the fiscal year, Sanyo forecast a profit of 40 billion yen ($369 million) on sale of 2.13 trillion yen ($20 billion).

Despite the improving results, Sanyo has had trouble lately. This week, the president said he will step down to take responsibility for a scandal in which the company continued to supply defective solar cell systems despite knowledge of the defect.

On Friday, Sanyo said it will recall 198,340 refrigerators sold in Japan because of defective doors that resulted in minor injuries.

In the latest case, the company received 139 reports of refrigerator doors coming off hinges, said Sanyo spokesman Masayuki Onimaru. Some customers said the doors fell to the floor, causing injuries and damaging goods. Onimaru said none of the 12 injuries were serious.

The refrigerators were produced between February 1995 and December 1996 and were sold only in Japan, Onimaru said. Sanyo will repair them free of charge.

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