Toshiba logs surprise quarterly operating loss on higher materials costs

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Toshiba Corp. is seen at the company's facility in Kawasaki, Japan June 10, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp on Wednesday posted an unexpected operating loss in the April-June first quarter as it grappled with a global chip shortage and a sharp rise in costs for raw materials.

The loss of 4.8 billion yen ($35.6 million), its first quarterly loss in two years, compares with a profit of 14.5 billion yen a year earlier and a consensus estimate of a 19.4 billion yen profit from four analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Higher material and logistics costs pushed down its operating earnings by 9.4 billion yen, while a chip shortage had a negative impact of about 3 billion yen, the company said.

But the scandal-laden Japanese industrial conglomerate, which is exploring going private and other options, maintained its profit forecast for the year ending March at 170 billion yen, up 7% from the previous year.

Bain Capital, CVC Capital Partners and Brookfield Asset Management as well as a consortium involving state-backed Japan Investment Corp and private equity firm Japan Industrial Partners have been selected by Toshiba to proceed to a second bidding round.

A buyout of Toshiba could value the firm at as much as $22 billion, sources have previously told Reuters.

Tensions between Toshiba and its activist investors culminated last year when a shareholder-commissioned investigation concluded management had colluded with Japan's trade ministry - which sees the company's nuclear and defence technology as a strategic asset - to block overseas investors from gaining influence at its 2020 shareholder meeting.

This year, shareholders rejected management-backed plans to split the company in two, prompting Toshiba to restart a strategic review.

($1 = 134.98 yen)

(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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