Toshiba warns over ability to continue as it files earnings without auditor approval

The troubled electronics giant filed delayed financial results without auditor approval

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The Independent Online

Toshiba has said it sees doubts as to whether it can continue as a going concern after being hammered by heavy losses, Bloomberg reports.

In an unprecedented move, the troubled electronics giant filed delayed financial results on Tuesday without auditor approval.

The company has twice put back the deadline for filing its accounts in a bid for more time to give auditors the reassurances they need. 

Toshiba 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, which filed for bankruptcy last month.

In February, Toshiba's chairman resigned after the company warned of the impending losses.

The company has mulled selling other profitable businesses 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, due to its inability to get auditors to sign off on its accounts.

Accountants, PwC have expressed concern about Toshiba's internal controls.

The latest news casts further doubt over future of the new Moorside nuclear plant in Cumbria that is set to produce 7 per cent of the UK’s power. Toshiba owns a 60 per cent stake in NuGen the company that is supposed to be building it.

President Satoshi Tsunakawa apologised again for the problems but said he did not foresee a need for any dramatic revisions in the earnings report. He called the auditor's decision not to approve it "truly regrettable." 

Mr Tsunakawa told reporters Toshiba's executives have given up pay were making other cost cuts, including selling a majority stake in the company's prized memory chip operations. Apart from its embattled nuclear segment, Toshiba's other operations are healthy, Mr Tsunakawa said. 

But the company's reputation has been tarnished by a scandal over doctoring of accounting books to meet unrealistic profit targets. 

He said Toshiba plans to report its full annual earnings in May. 

Toshiba still faces the challenge of decommissioning the Fukushima nuclear plant, which sank into multiple meltdowns after the 2011 tsunami in northeastern Japan. 

Additional reporting by AP