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Japan-Update

Fujifilm delays annual report for probe of New Zealand unit

Imaging group launches independent accounting investigation

TOKYO -- Fujifilm Holdings will delay its fiscal 2016 annual report due next week pending an investigation of accounting practices at an overseas subsidiary, the Japanese imaging company said Thursday.

The group has created an independent committee tasked with conducting the probe into Fuji Xerox New Zealand, an office equipment vendor. An in-house inquiry reportedly uncovered the possibility that the unit overstated net profits by a total of roughly 22 billion yen ($201 million) over the past several years.

The irregularities surfaced in the recording of receivables for certain office equipment leases. Contracts with client companies set monthly fees based on the equipment and document printing volume. But some contracts might have contained faulty wording regarding the fee schedules.

A whistleblower brought attention to the potentially improper bookkeeping in 2015, according to Fujifilm. Fuji Xerox, the parent of the New Zealand unit, responded, but Fujifilm Holdings' auditor cited the problem in November.

Fujifilm could receive the results of the independent probe in May, after which the group would announce earnings for the fiscal year ended in March. No specific date has been set for releasing the annual report, which as due out April 27. Fujifilm declined to comment on the potential financial impact on the group's fiscal 2016 results.  

(Nikkei)

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