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Toshiba to report huge half-year operating loss: report

The logo of Toshiba Corp is seen behind trees at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan in this Oct 1, 2015 file photo.

[TOKYO] Troubled Japanese conglomerate Toshiba is expected to announce a whopping loss of 90 billion yen (S$1.03 billion) for the six months to September as it deals with a huge accounting scandal, a report said Thursday.

The operating loss - its first in six years - compares to a year-earlier 137.8 billion yen profit, the leading Nikkei business daily said without citing sources.

However Toshiba, which sells everything from rice cookers to nuclear reactors, is set to report a net profit of about 40 billion yen for the half-year after selling stakes in group companies, the newspaper said.

The 140-year-old company has said it will book a 37.8 billion yen net loss for the fiscal year to March 2015 to account for a billion-dollar profit-padding scandal that hammered its reputation.

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Toshiba shares fell 3.6 per cent to 330.5 yen by the break Thursday.

Responding to the Nikkei report, Toshiba confirmed that it would report a half-year operating loss and net profit for the period, but declined to provide figures.

The scandal has slowed restructuring efforts at Toshiba, hampering efforts to turn around its "lifestyle" products segment which includes appliances such as computers, televisions and washing machine, the Nikkei said.

Profit margins narrowed in the mainstay chip business amid falling prices for smartphone flash memory, it said.

The report noted that earnings in the energy and infrastructure segment tend to be weighted toward the second half, making relatively smaller contributions in the first half results.

A slowing outlook for such areas as point-of-sale systems, widely used by retailers, has forced Toshiba to book losses worth roughly 70 billion yen during the six months, the Nikkei said.

The company is still reeling from what is considered to be one of the most damaging accounting scandals to hit Japan in recent years.

The case forced the incumbent president and seven other top executives to resign after a company-hired panel found top management colluded to puff up profits.

Toshiba plans to release its earnings this Saturday because many of its newly appointed outside board members - reputed business leaders, lawyers and accountants - are only able to meet on weekends.


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