Fri, Aug 11, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Toshiba stalls delisting with audit approval

‘NORMALIZED’:The Japanese electronics firm reported a loss in line with an earlier report, but said it returned to profit in the first quarter after Westinghouse’s removal

AP, TOKYO

An auditor yesterday signed off, belatedly, on Toshiba Corp’s earnings, meaning the embattled Japanese electronics and nuclear company will likely avert delisting, for now.

However, the auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers Aarata, cautioned about remaining risks in a separate statement.

The approval had not come on schedule because of concerns about Toshiba’s money-losing nuclear business in the US.

Toshiba’s US nuclear unit, Westinghouse Electric Co, filed for bankruptcy protection in March.

Toshiba is still mired in legal wrangling with joint venture partner Western Digital Corp of the US, which is opposing Toshiba’s attempt to sell its computer memorychip business to gain the cash it needs to survive, and has taken legal action.

Yesterday was the deadline for the auditor’s approval. It had released preliminary earnings earlier, without the approval, to stave off delisting, although the company was later moved to the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s second section from its first section.

“Our earnings have now been normalized,” Toshiba president Satoshi Tsunakawa told reporters.

He reiterated that the company was working hard to revive itself and regain value for shareholders.

No additional losses were expected related to its US nuclear business, after the bankruptcy filing and other settlements it has reached there, he said.

Toshiba was still in talks with various partners on the memorychip sales, Tsunakawa said, but declined to comment in detail on why the agreement was being delayed.

He acknowledged major obstacles remained, but stressed he was determined to go through with a sale.

Yesterday’s approval came after a seven-month investigation into the issues raised by the auditor, centered on whether Toshiba had known in advance the subsequent losses that emerged related to Westinghouse’s acquisition of CB&I Stone & Webster, a nuclear construction and services business.

Tsunakawa said he stood behind the decision, although he acknowledged more due diligence might have been needed and the company intended to strengthen its risk management.

The investigation included widespread interviews and checking into e-mails, Toshiba said.

Toshiba yesterday reported a ¥965.7 billion (US$8.8 billion) loss for the fiscal year through March, worse than the ¥460 billion loss racked up the previous fiscal year, and similar to what it had reported before.

It had earlier warned such losses might balloon to nearly ¥1 trillion, and had given similar figures for the earnings.

Toshiba yesterday also reported first-quarter earnings, a return to profit in the April-to-June period at ¥50 billion after Westinghouse was removed from Toshiba’s books.

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