Japanese giant admits 13-year fraud

Japan’s Olympus ironed out its accounts yesterday, revealing a ¥84 billion (£700 million) hole and leaving the company dangerously underfunded after a 13-year accounting fraud.

The 92-year-old maker of cameras and medical equipment filed five years’ worth of corrected statements, plus overdue first-half results, just hours before a Tokyo Stock Exchange deadline that could have seen it automatically de-listed had it failed to comply.

Olympus said that following the writedown, its net assets were just ¥46bn as of the end of September. That leaves the company with debts of about 14 times its equity.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It also revealed a net loss of ¥32.3bn for the six months to 30 September, further fuelling talk the once-proud firm would need to move quickly to shore up its balance sheet or risk becoming prey to a takeover.

Olympus’ shares, which have lost about half their value since revelations in October that it had disguised losses, closed down 4 per cent yesterday.