Toshiba Corp. met the Thursday deadline for submitting its delayed financial results for fiscal 2016, avoiding immediate delisting from the Tokyo Stock Exchange for now, after gaining partial approval from its auditor.
Auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers Aarata LLC has issued an "opinion with qualifications" for Toshiba's annual earnings report, meaning the figures are presented fairly overall and that only minor problems exist.
"I believe that our earnings have normalized," said Toshiba President Satoshi Tsunakawa at a press conference in Tokyo. "I will make all-out efforts to exercise leadership, work with our employees to revive Toshiba, maintain its corporate value and take that value to a higher level."
However, the auditor issued an "adverse opinion" on Toshiba's internal controls, since the company overlooked massive losses related to its now-bankrupt U.S. nuclear unit. If the Tokyo Stock Exchange deems Toshiba's corporate governance insufficient, the company could still face potential delisting of its shares.
PwC Aarata said in its auditor report attached to Toshiba's annual financial statement that the Japanese firm "should have booked a respectable degree or all" of the massive losses stemming from the U.S. nuclear unit in fiscal 2015 instead of the following year.
The auditor pointed out that there is an "unfixed significant misstatement" and that Toshiba's figures "are not based on generally accepted corporate accounting levels," but it had a limited effect on the overall results.
For Toshiba's corporate governance, the auditor said that "internal control had not been practiced appropriately."
Toshiba said that it has fallen into negative net worth of 552.9 billion yen ($5.02 billion) for fiscal 2016 and posted a record group net loss of 965.66 billion yen, the largest-ever for a Japanese manufacturer.
The Japanese conglomerate also reported its earnings results for the April-June period for fiscal 2017, posting a group operating profit of 96.69 billion yen, a record for the quarter and nearly sixfold increase from a year earlier, boosted by its brisk chip business.
Toshiba, hit by its worst-ever financial crisis, is hoping to quickly sell its profitable chip unit to raise cash to cover the huge losses stemming from its former U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Co., which filed for bankruptcy in March. The company will face automatic delisting from the TSE unless it eliminates its negative net worth by next March.
Toshiba has picked a consortium of state-backed Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, the state-owned Development Bank of Japan, U.S. investment fund Bain Capital and chipmaker SK Hynix Inc. of South Korea as the preferred bidder for its chip unit Toshiba Memory Corp.
But stalled talks with the consortium have forced Toshiba to miss a self-imposed deadline to seal a deal in June after SK Hynix started demanding voting rights instead of providing loans as initially planned. A legal dispute with its joint venture partner Western Digital Corp., which is fiercely opposed to any sale without its consent, also continues to hang over the sale process.
On the current status of negotiations for its chip unit sale, Tsunakawa said that Toshiba has started discussions with entities other than the consortium after failing to reach a deal by the deadline. "We hope to quickly clinch a deal," Tsunakawa said.