(Bloomberg) Toshiba Corp. must correct at least 152 billion yen ($1.2 billion) of pretax earnings over a six-year period after an internal accounting probe revealed the company overstated profits under pressure from management.
The amount is almost triple the 55 billion yen writedown the Tokyo-based company estimated earlier and is in addition to 4.4 billion yen in inaccurate entries found by the Tokyo-based company. Toshiba announced summary findings from a third-party committee investigation Monday and President Hisao Tanaka is scheduled to hold a briefing on Tuesday.
Toshiba has lost $3.6 billion in market value since May 8, when it withdrew its earnings forecasts, canceled the year-end dividend and widened the accounting probe. The findings raise questions about the involvement of Tanaka and Vice Chairman Norio Sasaki in the largest Japanese accounting scandal since Olympus Corp. admitted to hiding $1.7 billion in losses.
Tanaka sought to delay booking losses and workers were unable to go against management orders, according to the probe. Executives at the company had “systematic” involvement in the improper accounting and internal controls failed to operate properly, Toshiba said, citing the report.
President Tanaka will announce his resignation, the Sankei newspaper reported July 17, without saying where it obtained the information.
The company was run by Sasaki for most of the period in question. Sasaki was replaced in 2013 by Tanaka.
The largest single earnings figure to be corrected is 85.8 billion yen of pretax profit in the 2012 fiscal year, according to the probe.
At least eight analysts have suspended their ratings on the company’s shares amid uncertainty about the investigation’s scope.
Shares of Toshiba rose 2 percent to 376.80 yen in Tokyo on Friday. The stock has declined 26 percent this year making it the second-worst worst performer on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average, which has climbed 18 percent.
Japanese markets were closed on Monday for a national holiday.
Toshiba’s German-listed shares fell as much as 2.7 percent.
The company initially uncovered irregularities related to “percentage of completion” estimates used on infrastructure projects, including nuclear, hydroelectric, wind-power equipment, air-traffic control and railway systems. Toshiba then appointed a third-party committee to expand the investigation to its visual products, PC and chip businesses.
In May, the company named two lawyers and two certified public accountants to the third-party committee that would be headed by Koichi Ueda, a former investigator with Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Toshiba had previously projected operating income of 330 billion yen on sales of 6.7 trillion yen for the year ended March.
The company will review fiscal 2014 earnings with auditors and submit its result by the end of August, it said Monday.
The company may sell assets worth 200 billion yen, including part of its stake in atomic power plant maker Westinghouse Electric, the Nikkei reported on July 9, without saying where it got the information.
There is no change to the plan to sell part of the Westinghouse stake, spokesman Hirokazu Tsukimoto said at the time. Toshiba had said as early as 2012 that it was considering a sale of as much as 36 percent of that business.
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