By Sophie Knight and Reiji Murai
KAWASAKI, Japan (Reuters) - Toshiba Corp plans to spend billions of dollars on mergers and acquisitions to boost annual sales in its healthcare division to 1 trillion yen ($9.78 billion) by March 2018, President Hisao Tanaka said on Thursday.
The Japanese conglomerate sees healthcare as key to its growth. It aims to raise the sector's revenues by 50 percent to 600 billion yen in the business year to March 2016 and wants its operating profit margin to reach over 10 percent within the same period.
Beyond that, the company will need mergers and acquisitions, Tanaka said. He did not give details any potential targets.
Toshiba, Hitachi Ltd and Mitsubishi Electric Corp are all seeking to expand their healthcare businesses to tap growing demand from an ageing population at home and boost revenues as their consumer electronics face stiff competition from foreign rivals.
Imaging diagnostics for medical use are the main product of Toshiba's healthcare sector. The company currently has an 11 percent share of the 2.2 trillion yen global imaging diagnostics market, a stake it wants to boost by 2017/18 so that it can become one of the world's top three makers of the technology.
Toshiba also wants to expand its preventative health products and services such as nursing and aftercare, a market it says is currently worth 10 trillion yen.
($1 = 102.2150 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Sophie Knight; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Miral Fahmy)