Toshiba reorganizing to focus on energy, storage amid major losses


The recent accounting scandal at Toshiba, which saw profit-padding to the tune of $1.2 billion over a seven year period, according to Bloomberg, has forced the conglomerate, in its own words, to undergo "bold" structural reform. This has seen the shedding of both jobs and business divisions over the past year, and the revision of FY financial forecasts.

A new focus for the conglomerate will be in the energy and storage businesses, says Toshiba in its latest earnings report, out today. It adds that on the back of the restructuring, a group-wide net loss of around JPY 710 billion ($6 billion) can be expected for the FY 2015, instead of JPY 550 billion.

"It is now expected that the operating loss will notably exceed the Company’s previous forecast due to increased construction expenses in the Energy & Infrastructure segment for Transmission and Distribution Systems projects; deterioration of operating profit in the Electronic Devices & Components segment from decreased sales; and increased restructuring costs in the Lifestyle Products & Services segment to accomplish business reform," read the statement.

The nitty gritty

Overall, net sales for the Toshiba Corporation in the first nine months of FY 2015 (April to December) were JPY 4,421 billion (around US$37.5 million), down 301.6% on the previous year, while operating loss was JPY 229.5 billion, down 431.3%. Net loss, meanwhile, was JPY 479.4 billion (around $4 million), and down from a profit a year earlier.

Net sales in the Energy & Infrastructure segment fell 19.8% YoY to JPY 1.34 billion ($11 million), while operating loss JPY 102.6 billion (around $848 million) down 145.6%. "While the Nuclear Power Systems business and Landis+Gyr AG recorded higher sale, the Solar Photovoltaic Systems and Railway Systems businesses saw lower sales," explained Toshiba.

Storage sales also suffered a loss, from JPY 347.4 billion in the nine months ended December 31, 2013, and JPY 378.4 billion in 2014, to JPY 315.1 billion in 2015. In the same period, Transmission & Distribution Systems and Solar Photovoltaic Systems sales went from JPY 219.5 billion and JPY 274.6 billion, to JPY 235.6 billion in 2015.

Toshiba and storage

Last June, it was reported that Finnish electrical utility, Helen Ltd ordered a 1.2 MW – 0.6MWh SCiB lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) from Landis+Gyr, a member of Toshiba, for installation next to its 340 kWp Suvilahti solar power plant – Finland’s largest – located in Helsinki’s Kalasatama District.

The system is scheduled for assembly in Italy at the start of this year, and is expected to be installed in Finland next month, with commissioning taking place in the spring.

Meanwhile, in June 2014, Toshiba was contracted to supply the battery for the UK’s first 2 MW Energy Storage System.