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Olympus warns of £260m annual losses

Camera maker has lost 60% of its value since October after sacked chief executive blew whistle on inflated takeover costs

The consumer and medical camera maker Olympus, which is embroiled in an accounting fraud case, has warned that its annual losses will be even worse than analyst estimates, totalling ¥32bn (£260m).

The company, which reported third-quarter results to the Tokyo stock exchange on Monday morning, said the losses were not linked to the fraud.

Olympus has lost 60% of its value since October after its sacked chief executive, Michael Woodford, blew the whistle on inflated takeover costs that were used to hide bad investments.

Analysts from Barclays Capital and Deutsche Bank had forecast a ¥25.5bn average loss in the year to 31 March 2012.

Operating profit is expected to decline by 6.2%, to ¥36bn, while revenue may increase 0.8% to ¥854bn.

While the revenue forecast matched estimates, the operating profit forecast missed the average estimate of ¥41bn. Sales in the third quarter, to 31 December, were up 1.7% to ¥210bn.

The company is not in any concrete talks on tie-ups and any such steps should be left for new management to decide on, its outgoing president, Shuichi Takayama, told reporters.

Olympus is considering ways to boost capital after it restated past securities reports and wrote down the value of its assets by £800m in December. Shareholders will vote on new management at a meeting called for 20 April.

Last month, the Tokyo Stock Exchange allowed Olympus to keep its stock market listing by fining it £80,000 and telling it to submit reports on efforts to improve management.

The exchange put Olympus on a watchlist last year after the company admitted inflating fees to advisers on the £1.3bn acquisition of the London-listed Gyrus Group in 2008 and overpaying for three Japanese companies. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds