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Western Digital restarts hard drive production in Thailand

Expects Thai floods to cost it at least $225m
Fri Dec 02 2011, 15:09

HARD DISK DRIVE MAKER Western Digital has said it expects the damage from recent flooding in Thailand to cost it at least $225m as it starts to bring the first of its factories in the region back online.

Western Digital has been hit hard by the devastating floods in Thailand, which have left a number of the firm's manufacturing facilities under water. As the company revised is financial outlook, it said the Bang Pa-in plant has started churning out hard drives again this week.

While Western Digital will turn the lights back on in its Bang Pa-in plant, head slider production is not expected to restart before March 2012. In the meantime Western Digital will bring online a new head slider manufacturing plant in Malaysia.

John Coyne, president and CEO of Western Digital said, "Much work remains to be done but we couldn't be more pleased with the effort and results thus far, including tremendous support from our supply partners and strategic customers."

Western Digital said it expects to rake in at least $1.8bn for its second quarter fiscal year 2012 with gross margins near 23 per cent. The firm also said it expects to complete its purchase of Hitachi's Global Storage Technologies division by March 2012.

While Western Digital has restarted production in Thailand, the firm also said it expects hard disk drive demand to outstrip supply well into 2012. However with production restarting, it is likely that hard drive prices will start to come back down. µ


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