Scam-tainted Japanese camera and endoscopy maker Olympus Corp expects to close the current fiscal, ending March 31, with a net loss of 32 billion yen ($412 million).
The company reported a net loss of 756 million yen for the October-December quarter, as against a net profit of 2.04 billion yen in the same period last year. The scam, the biggest fraud in Japanese corporate history in recent times, broke out in October, after the company sacked its British CEO, Michael Woodford, days after promoting him.
Woodford had questioned irregular payments made by the company to shady firms as commission for overseas acquisitions. The management later confirmed that the payments had been made to conceal hefty losses incurred over the years.
The $1.7-billion scam has seen the company lose more than 50 per cent of its market share sinec October. Investigators and regulators in Japan, the UK and the US continue to probe the company.
Olympus is also considering tying up with other majors to boost its finances. The possible suitors include Sony, Fujifilm and Samsung Electronics. Sony is keen to expand its presence in the medical services business and Olympus' profitable endoscopy business appears attractive for it, say analysts.
However, Shuichi Takayama, president, Olympus, said the company was not in any concrete talks for possible tie-ups, which would have to await the shareholder's meeting in April, after the present management will be replaced. While the company might opt for an alliance, it would also consider the possibility of steering an independent course, he added.