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Toshiba moves closer to avoiding delisting

Japanese conglomerate Toshiba has received a signoff from auditors on its earnings in the last fiscal year. It was good news for a company confronted with delisting fears and legal battles with Western Digital.

Toshiba on Thursday met a looming deadline to report its delayed financial results, saying it lost around $8.8 billion (7.5 billion euros) in the last fiscal year over its hard-hit US nuclear unit, Westinghouse Electric.

The earnings report greatly reduced the chance of an embarrassing delisting of the company from the Tokyo Stock Exchange. There had been growing worries that Toshiba might not make Thursday's deadline to supply financial statements for the year ending March as it had been at odds with auditors over multi-billion-dollar losses at Westinghouse.

The massive trouble at the nuclear division, largely owing to delays and cost overruns, had raised doubts about the future of what's one of Japan's best-known firms.

Watch video 01:19

Toshiba’s nuclear unit files for bankruptcy

Thumbs up from PwC

But auditors at PricewaterhouseCoopers Aarata issued a qualified opinion, saying Toshiba's statements were "mostly appropriate." The company said it was intending to swing back to profitability in the current fiscal year, but getting itself out a negative net worth by March 2018 would not be easy, analysts warned.

"Toshiba has made one positive step forward to avoid the imminent risk of being delisted," said Makoto Sengoku, a market expert at Tokai Tokyo Research Center.

"But this is nothing more than just a beginning of its restructuring," he added.

"The Westinghouse losses are not the only problem Toshiba is grappling with. It's also still mired in legal wrangling with US joint venture partner Western Digital, which is opposing the Japanese firm's attempt to sell its computer memory chip business to gain the cash it needs to survive.

Watch video 01:17

Trouble at Toshiba

hg/jd (AFP, AP)

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