Toshiba (Japan)

Toshiba is one of Japan's leading technology companies, responsible for several important breakthroughs including the development of the laptop computer and DVD video. However, the group was left reeling in 2015 by the mass resignation of most of its senior management team after it admitted inflating profits by more than $1bn over several years. A new crisis began to emerge a year later as a result of massive writedowns against its nuclear energy business in the US. Although best known outside Japan for IT and audio-visual products, especially notebook computers and televisions, Toshiba has traditionally been regarded as one of Japan's leading electrical engineering companies, alongside Hitachi, NEC, Mitsubishi and Fujitsu. It manufactures an extensive collection of other electrical products ranging from mobile phones to household appliances. However it now derives the largest proportion of its revenues from "social infrastructure": areas such as industrial electronics, building systems, traffic control and all forms of energy generation, including nuclear, thermal and hydroelectric. In 2013 it adopted a new strategy to focus on three key pillars of energy, data storage and healthcare imaging. However its US division Westinghouse has suffered from a series of expensive delays and cost over-runs, leading to total writedowns of $8.5bn in 2016 and 2017. Group sales for the year ending 2016 were around $47bn, including $16bn from energy & infrastructure and $12bn from electronic devices & components. However losses came in at $3.8bn, and could be even higher for for ye 2017. Following the resignation of CEO Hisao Tanaka in 2015, group EVP Satoshi Tsunakawa was appointed as CEO. The company was formed in 1939 as Tokyo Shibara Denki - it didn't formally adopt the abbreviated Toshiba name until the 1970s - from the merger of two existing business that were already regarded as pioneers in Japanese engineering. Adbrands no longer profiles this company but subscribers may access account assignments and contact information. The searchable account assignments database is available to full subscribers to premium services. Click here to access Adbrands account assignments (subscribers only); or see here for information on how to subscribe.

Capsule checked 15th February 2017

Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 7th Jan 2016: Japanese industrial and electronics group Toshiba warned it would make a record loss of as much as $4.5bn for 2015 as a result of huge staff layoffs, impairments and other moves to streamline its bloated operations. The group is struggling to regain its balance after a accounting scandal last year in which it admitted inflating profits by as much as $1.3bn over several year. Toshiba's shares plunged by more than 20% this week to six year lows. Brewer Kirin also warned it will report its first-ever annual loss because of a $1.2bn impairment charge against its struggling Brazilian subsidiary Schincariol, acquired in 2011.

Adbrands Weekly Update 10th Dec 2015: Toshiba is seeking a buyer for its PC division as it struggles to rebuild performance in the wake of an accounting scandal earlier this year. Famed for its hard-wearing laptops, Toshiba is the 5th biggest PC marketer in the US behind HP, Dell, Apple and Lenovo. Elsewhere it sits a little further down the rankings behind Taiwanese rivals Acer and Asus. It is said to be hoping to merge its PC business with that of another manufacturer. One contender would be the investor group which last year acquired Sony's equally hard-pressed Vaio division. Fujitsu is also seeking a buyer for its PC business, so a merger of all three also-ran businesses may be on the cards. Another one-time leader in Japan's computer market, NEC, called it quits in 2011, ceding control of its PC division to Lenovo of China.

Adbrands Weekly Update 10th Sep 2015: Scandal-hit Toshiba said internal investigations into the accounting fraud uncovered earlier this year revealed that profits had been inflated by as much as or $2bn over a seven-year period since 2007. That figure was four times higher than initial estimates. Investigators found that staff in multiple divisions within the group routinely inflated results in order to meet unfeasibly ambitious profit targets set by top management. For its most recent year to March the group reported a net loss of around $345m on revenues of $60bn.

Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Jul 2015: The CEO of Japanese industrial group Toshiba and six other members of its executive committee resigned after being tainted by an accounting scandal. Despite Toshiba's historical reputation as a poster child for sound corporate governance, independent investigators found that the company had inflated profits in its laptops division by as much as $1.2bn over a seven-year period.

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