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. 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, the group is currently 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. Satoshi Tsunakawa, one of the fewer senior managers not implicated in the scandal, was appointed as CEO. A new crisis began to emerge a year later as a result of massive over-spending at its Westinghouse nuclear energy business in the US. Group sales for the year to 2016 were around $47bn, including $16bn from energy & infrastructure and $12bn from electronic devices & components. However losses came in at $3.8bn, and are likely to be even higher for for ye 2017, especially after Toshiba filed for bankruptcy protection for Westinghouse. 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 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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