Japanese electronics maker Toshiba Corp. posted a wider loss for the first half of its fiscal year as sales tumbled in personal computers, TV sets, cell phones, and air-conditioners. The Tokyo-based company said it lost 32 billion yen (U.S. $292 million) for the April-September period versus a loss of 26 billion yen a year ago. Sales slipped to 2.6 trillion yen ($23.7 billion) from 2.64 trillion yen a year earlier. The loss was larger than Toshiba's forecast in September of a loss of 25 billion yen ($228 million).
Price declines battered Toshiba's personal computer sales, offsetting gains in the numbers of PCs sold both in Japan and overseas. Television and cell phones sales were also sluggish, although liquid crystal displays and computer chips fared better. Air conditioner sales faltered in Japan because of an unusually cold summer, but the nuclear power plant business improved, the company said. Toshiba said it expected recovery in the second half as the U.S. economy rebounds and companies in Japan begin to spend more. But global uncertainty remains about the continuing drop in electronic prices, it said. Toshiba expects to report a profit of 25 billion yen ($228 million) on sales of 5.6 trillion yen for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2004.
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