Toshiba delays earnings report again

Chairman Satoshi Tsunakawa told reporters yesterday Toshiba's results are still being audited.
Chairman Satoshi Tsunakawa told reporters yesterday Toshiba's results are still being audited.

TOKYO • Troubled conglomerate Toshiba yesterday delayed its earnings report for a third time since January, but warned it likely lost 950 billion yen (S$11.7 billion) in the just-ended fiscal year, with fears growing about its survival.

The latest delay comes as one of Japan's best-known firms grapples with claims of financial misconduct at money-losing US nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric, which is sitting in bankruptcy protection.

Toshiba twice postponed nine- month earnings reports before it released unaudited results last month. Yesterday's warning - largely linked to the bloodletting at Westinghouse - was, however, slightly better than an earlier projected net loss of 1.01 trillion yen for the year ended in March.

"We can't officially disclose the earnings as they're still being audited," Toshiba president Satoshi Tsunakawa told a news briefing.

The company - still recovering from a 2015 accounting scandal - has said that it needed more time to probe claims of financial misconduct by senior managers at Westinghouse and to gauge the impact on its finances.

The investigation was started after a whistleblower complained that one or more executives at the US unit exerted "inappropriate pressure" on its accounting.

The series of delays has stirred fears that Toshiba could be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The company now faces a deadline of the end of next month to file its results with Japan's Finance Ministry or face a possible end-of-July delisting.

But it is not clear if the firm's shares will be yanked from the exchange even if that date is missed.

Toshiba's stock, which has lost more than 40 per cent of its value since late December, rose 3.43 per cent to 261.8 yen yesterday.

"The market does not feel that the exchange is pushing towards a delisting," said Mr Toshihiko Matsuno, chief strategist at SMBC Friend Securities. "If that were the case, the company would have been delisted a while ago, but the reality is that it's been put off for quite some time."

Yesterday's announcement comes as a sensitive time as Toshiba looks to sell its prized memory-chip business. The plan is facing opposition from Western Digital, which jointly runs Toshiba's key chip plant in Japan.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2017, with the headline 'Toshiba delays earnings report again'. Print Edition | Subscribe