Toshiba ‘may not continue as a going concern’

19 April 2017

On 11 April, as it filed delayed financial results without auditor approval, Toshiba issued a warning over its ability to continue. The company had twice put back the deadline for filing its accounts in a bid for more time to give auditors the reassurances they need. 
Toshiba says that it sees doubts as to whether it can continue as a going concern after being hit hard by heavy losses, Bloomberg reports. The company posted loses of 576.3bn yen (£4.2bn) for the nine months ending 31 December, largely as a result of project overruns in its US nuclear division, Westinghouse. In February, Toshiba's chairman resigned after the company warned of the impending losses.
The company has considered selling profitable business divisions including its chipmaking unit to cover the losses, with Chinese firm Foxconn a potential purchaser, according to reports.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange placed the company on its watch list and speculation has circulated that the company may be de-listed, owing to its inability to get auditors to sign off on its accounts.

* Recent events that have helped bring Toshiba into financial crisis include the application for Chapter 11 bankruptcy of its US subsidiary Westinghouse and the loss of its nuclear partner Engie. In a company statement on 28 March Toshiba Corp announced its intention to buy French power utility Engie's 40% stake in their British nuclear joint venture NuGen for ¥15.3 bn ($138.5 m).
Toshiba owns the majority 60 % stake in NuGen, which plans to build three reactors at the Moorside site on the coast of Cumbria, UK, using Westinghouse's AP1000, and has scheduled electricity generation to start in 2025. The UK nuclear regulator has approved the AP1000 design but it is now unclear whether the reactors will ever be built.
The filing earlier in March for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by Toshiba's US nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Co is defined in the JV terms as a ‘default event’ that allows Engie to exercise its option to sell its stake to Toshiba. Engie has confirmed its intention to sell its stake to Toshiba.
Toshiba said the transaction could cause a writedown of 49.7 billion yen ($450 m), but this has been already factored into its estimate of a net loss of 1 trillion yen ($9 bn) for the fiscal year that ended on 31 March.
 



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