Toshiba (Japan)

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Toshiba is one of Japan's leading technology companies, responsible for several important breakthroughs including the development of the laptop computer and DVD video. 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. By the 2010s, though, it derived 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, the group is still reeling from a series of largely self-induced catastrophes. In 2015, most of its senior management team resigned en masse after admitting to have inflated profits by more than $1bn over several years. A new crisis began to emerge a year later as a result of massive over-spending at its US-based Westinghouse nuclear energy business. Combined losses for the three years to March 2017 were almost $30bn, as the group struggled to restructure Westinghouse and its other nuclear energy businesses. Several units, including its memory chip division, were sold. Satoshi Tsunakawa, one of the few senior managers not implicated in the scandal, was initially appointed as CEO in 2016, but he moved down to president & COO in 2018 following the appointment of banking executive Nobuaki Kurumatani as CEO. Toshiba regained some stability for ye 2018, returning to profit, though sales were significantly lower than in previous years at around $36bn. Energy & infrastructure accounted for just over half of revenues; electronic devices & components for most of the rest. 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 28th September 2018

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Recent stories from Adbrands Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Sep 2017: Struggling Japanese giant Toshiba has agreed to sell its memory chip division to an investor group led by private equity group Bain Capital for $17.7bn. Other members of the buyer consortium include Apple, Dell and Seagate. Still wrestling with the financial fallout from huge losses in its nuclear power division, Toshiba needs to raise cash by the end of this financial year in order to retain its stock market listing. However a deal is by no means guaranteed. The Bain offer requires antitrust clearance and is also opposed by Toshiba's existing memory chip partner Western Digital.

Adbrands Weekly Update 13th Apr 2017: Toshiba, one of the giants of Japanese industry, said there was "substantial uncertainty" over its ability to continue as a going concern because of losses associated with its US nuclear division Westinghouse, which recently filed for bankruptcy protection. A key step in Toshiba's survival plan would be to sell off its chip division, its most profitable division and the original pioneer in the development of NAND flash memory, now used in almost all portable devices. Toshiba is still the #2 globally in flash memory behind Samsung. Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn, which took control of another failing Japanese icon Sharp last year in similar circumstances, has offered a knockout bid rumoured at up to $27bn. However that offer would be subject to due diligence, which could force down the final price significantly.

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.

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