* Oper profit seen 49 pct higher than previous forecast
* Keeps full-year outlook
* Shares drop 2.2 pct, Nikkei average falls 0.1 pct
TOKYO, Oct 21 (Reuters) - Japanese electronics firm Toshiba Corp (6502.T) said on Thursday its first-half operating profit would likely beat its previous forecast by 49 percent thanks to strong sales of semiconductors and liquid crystal displays.
The company, the world's No.2 maker of NAND-type flash memory chips after South Korea's Samsung Electronics (005930.KS), did not revise its forecasts for the full year to next March.
Toshiba said it expects to report an operating profit of 104 billion yen ($1.28 billion) for April-September, beating its previous forecast of 70 billion yen and well above the 2.1 billion yen profit scored in the same period a year earlier.
Toshiba said booming global sales of smartphones have boosted demand for its flash memory chips and LCD panels.
Toshiba's new estimate confirms a Nikkei newspaper report on Wednesday saying it likely earned an operating profit of more than 100 billion yen in the first half. [ID:nTOE69J019]
Toshiba said first-half sales would likely be 6.7 percent below its earlier forecast at 3.08 trillion yen, mainly due to the lack of a contribution from its mobile phone business, which has been separated into a joint venture with Fujitsu Ltd (6702.T). [ID:nLDE65G0BM]
Prior to the announcement, shares of Toshiba closed down 2.2 percent at 408 yen, underperforming a 0.1 percent drop in the benchmark Nikkei average .N225. ($1=81.12 yen) (Reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo; Editing by Michael Watson)