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Toshiba admits its future is in doubt as losses could hit £7bn

TROUBLED Toshiba has warned that its very existence is under threat, after finally publishing its much-delayed financial reporting for April-December 2016, unaudited.

The company said in a statement: “There are material events and conditions that raise substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern”.

The company has been clobbered in recent years by a perfect storm of underperforming in its ambitions for nuclear power culminating in Chapter 11 bankrupcy for Westinghouse and having to write off $8bn from its value after a false accounting scandal was discovered two years ago, an affair from which the company was still recovering.

Although a glut of companies have shown an interest in Toshiba’s chip division, with rival Foxconn offering up a cool $27bn already, the figure doesn’t appear to be enough to balance the books.

The division has been planning a brand new fabrication plant in addition to the one currently co-owned by WD (Sandisk) to produce next generation flash memory, making it a much sought after prize.

As Pricewaterhousecooper Aarata has twice refused to confirm the company books, forcing them to twice fail to declare, there is a risk of them being delisted from the NY stock exchange where it is registered, and so it has taken the unique step of telling like it is, without sign off.

The loss could top a trillion yen (around £7bn) and in doing so become amongst the biggest losses in Japanese history, bringing to an end a history that stretches back to the merger of two companies to form Tokyo Shibaura Denki in 1939.

A press conference is expected later on Tuesday which will aim to give some assurance to the world about the company’s future, assuming it has one. It has already ceased making laptops, televisions and many of the other consumer electronics that bear its name, instead licensing the brand. µ

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