SAN JOSE, Calif. Toshiba Corp.'s semiconductor unit is on a wild topsy-turvy ride.
Citing price pressures in the NAND flash-memory market, Toshiba (Tokyo) posted an operating profit of 20 billion yen ($174.5 million) within its semiconductor unit in its first fiscal quarter, up 5.2 percent from the like period a year ago but down 25.4 percent from the previous period.
The company reported sales of 246.6 billion yen ($2.2 billion) in its chip unit in the quarter, up 11 percent over the like period a year ago. The sales increase was due to a boost in system LSI and discrete parts.
It was a bad period for NAND flash. For the period from July 21 to July 28, spot prices for NAND flash-memories fell for the seventh consecutive week "and showed the steepest price decline during the previous seven weeks," according to Gartner Inc.
And, according to media reports, Japanese electronics concern Toshiba has decided to close down it's fab production site in Braunschweig, Germany. The chip production will be transferred to Japan.
Now, for the good news. In its second fiscal quarter, Toshiba projects that its chip unit will more than double and realize an operating profit of 56 billion yen ($488.7 million).
In total, the parent company posted an operating profit of 20.84 billion yen ($182 million) for the first fiscal quarter, compared with a 1.85 billion yen loss ($16.1 million) in the same period last year.
Net income was 4 billion yen ($35.1 million), compared to a loss of 8.9 billion yen ($77.7 million) a year earlier. Sales in the quarter hit 1.45 trillion yen ($12.6 billion), up 11.9 percent from the same period last year.