TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's No. 1 chipmaker, Toshiba Corp., will shut down several semiconductor plants at home to cope with a plunge in global demand for electronics goods, a report said Wednesday.
Toshiba will also likely incur an operating loss of 200 billion yen ($2.2 billion) in the fiscal year ending March 2009, said the Asahi, a major Japanese daily, citing no sources.
Toshiba spokeswoman Hiroko Mochida declined to confirm the report, but said the company had earlier forecast an operating profit of 150 billion yen. Toshiba runs 10 semiconductor plants in Japan and three in Asia -- China, Malaysia and Thailand.
Mochida said Toshiba plans to boost overseas production due to cheaper labor costs.
"Increasing output abroad is part of our efforts to cut operation costs amid a prolonged slump in the global semiconductor market. Our business environment remains severe," she said.
Semiconductors made at Toshiba's plants are used for electronics products like personal computers, digital cameras and mobile phones.
Toshiba's semiconductor sales will likely fall by 8 percent to 1.28 trillion yen for the fiscal year, the spokeswoman said, repeating a forecast made by the company in September. Its net profit will likely plunge by 45 percent to 70 billion yen.