Japan’s Toshiba boosts profit on devices, auto sector demand

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. forge ahead / fɔrdʒ əˈhɛd / (phrasal v.) – to make a lot of steady progress in something

    The president promised to forge ahead with the peace talks with the rebel groups.

  2. restructuring / riˈstrʌk tʃə rɪŋ / (n.) – a change in the operations or organization of a company to limit financial harm or improve the business

    The company underwent restructuring since its profits couldn’t pay off its debts.

  3. sell off (something) / sɛl ɔf / (phrasal v.) – to sell something at a low price, especially because money is needed

    The store owner sold off her shop to help with her son’s operation next month.

  4. embroil / ɛmˈbrɔɪl / (v.) – to involve someone or something in problems or conflicts

    The senator was embroiled in several corruption issues.

  5. doctor / ˈdɒk tər / (v.) – to change the content of a document in a dishonest way to trick people

    The sales manager was fired because he has been doctoring reports for a long time.


Read the text below.

Toshiba reported a 44% improvement in profit in the last quarter as the Japanese technology giant worked to revamp its brand image and reassure investors about its management.

Tokyo-based Toshiba Corp. said that it recorded a 25.9 billion yen ($192 million) profit in the April-June period, up from 18 billion yen the year before. Quarterly sales rose nearly 2% to 740.7 billion yen ($5.5 billion).

Toshiba has promised to boost sales by forging ahead with clean energy, infrastructure projects, data services, devices and storage businesses. Profitability improved for electronic devices, storage and digital solutions, and demand was good from the auto sector, it said.

In March, investors rejected a company-backed reform proposal to split Toshiba into two businesses. An earlier plan that also was scrapped had called for a three-way split.

Toshiba has been studying privatization as it tries to move ahead with its restructuring plan. It has set up a special committee that includes outside directors to oversee restructuring efforts.

Founded in 1875, Toshiba was a revered Japanese brand behind electric rice cookers and laptop computers. It sold off its prized flash memory business as its fortunes tumbled.

The company has been struggling since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011. A tsunami sent three reactors into meltdowns, spewing radiation over an area that’s still partly a no-go zone. The company is involved in the decommissioning effort, which will take decades.

It also was embroiled in problems at its former U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2017.

Its reputation also was tarnished by an accounting scandal, which involved books being doctored for years.

Toshiba officials declined comment on the direction of its nuclear business, noting that the event on August 10 was focused on financials. They said a review was continuing.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Why do you think Toshiba was able to stay in business despite all of the challenges it went through over the years? Discuss.
  • Do you think it was a good idea to sell off a part of one’s business? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Toshiba is involved in a wide range of businesses. In your opinion, is it a good decision for one company to engage in a variety of businesses? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • If you were one of the investors in Toshiba, would you still invest in it given the accounting scandal? Why or why not? Discuss.