Toshiba swings to profit on sale of home appliances arm

Toshiba_TOKYO: Toshiba said Friday it swung to a profit in the April-June quarter, thanks to cost cuts and the sale of its home appliance business.

The vast conglomerate, which is trying to turn the page on an embarrassing accounting scandal, said it booked a net profit of 79.8 billion yen ($780 million) in the quarter, reversing a 12.3 billion yen net loss a year ago.

Toshiba also kept its fiscal year to March forecasts unchanged, with the group expecting a 100 billion yen net profit on sales of 5.1 trillion yen.

A once proud pillar of corporate Japan, Toshiba has been besieged by problems, most notably a profit-padding scandal in which bosses for years systematically pushed subordinates to cover up weak financial results.

Japan’s national pension fund is among the disgruntled investors suing Toshiba, which saw its stock lose 40 percent of its value in the wake of the scandal.

The affair sparked the resignation of its president and a string of other top executives last year.

Best known for televisions and electronics, Toshiba’s vast business was dented by the 2008 global financial crisis, while the 2011 Fukushima disaster squashed demand for atomic power at home in a big blow to the firm’s key nuclear division.

Top executives complained of “shameful results” that could not be made public, and a company-hired panel in 2015 found they masterminded a years-long scheme to hide poor results.

In an intensive makeover effort, Toshiba has been shedding businesses and announced the sale of its medical devices unit to camera and office equipment maker Canon.

Separately, China’s Midea Group has agreed to buy a little more than 80 percent of Toshiba’s money-losing home appliances arm.

Toshiba shares jumped nearly four percent to 273.9 yen in Tokyo on a report earlier Friday about its earnings.