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Toshiba to Spend Big on Chips, Nuclear Power

Tue, 05/11/2010 - 9:40am

Tomoko A. Hosaka, Associated Press Writer


TOKYO (AP) — Toshiba Corporation unveiled an ambitious three-year agenda, aiming to quadruple profits and spend $14 billion to amplify its strengths in semiconductors and nuclear power.

The Japanese conglomerate's business right now is vast, spanning household appliances and computers to health care equipment and industrial machines. But the world has changed since the global financial crisis, and so must Toshiba, said company President Norio Sasaki.

"We needed to figure out how to grow in this new paradigm," Sasaki said, referring to the rapid rise of emerging economies and the intensifying global battle for their business.

So Toshiba will shift its focus to several key areas, investing heavily in its strongest and most promising sectors to sharpen its competitive edge.

The Tokyo-based company plans to spend 1.3 trillion yen ($14 billion) on capital expenditures and investments through the fiscal year ending March 2013. Most of the money will go to its semiconductor-making unit and the Social Infrastructure division, which oversees nuclear power operations.

The average spending over the three years would represent a 74 percent jump from capital spending levels last fiscal year, Toshiba said. It has allocated another 1.07 trillion yen ($11.6 billion) for research and development.

It aims to expand operating profit to 450 billion yen ($4.9 billion) by March 2013, up from 117 billion yen last fiscal year. It hopes that overseas growth will help drive up revenue 25 percent to 8 trillion yen.

The company, which owns Westinghouse Electric Co., is also bullish on nuclear energy. It expects to receive orders for 39 nuclear power plants worldwide by 2015 and is expanding fuel supply and maintenance services.

Toshiba is also looking to strengthen its foothold in green technologies. It has won bids to build three mega-solar power plants in Japan and expects to sign one overseas contract in Bulgaria soon. It has also received orders to outfit 10,000 homes with solar power systems. Toshiba's announcement comes four days after it reported earnings, saying it returned to profit in the January-March quarter thanks to growing demand for memory chips.

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