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Olympus returns to profit, shrugs off scandal

TOKYO: Olympus on Wednesday said it swung to an annual net profit as it turns the page on a huge accounting scandal, adding that it expects profits to more than triple in the current fiscal year.images

The camera and medical equipment maker said net profit for the year to March was 8.02 billion yen ($78 million), reversing a year-earlier loss of 48.99 billion yen. Sales were worth 743.85 billion yen, down 12.3%.

The firm’s return to profitability came as it rebuilds from a scandal for which several former executives are facing criminal charges.

Olympus’s reputation, and Japan’s corporate governance image, was badly damaged after its British former chief executive blew the whistle in 2011 on a scam that saw $1.7 billion worth of losses moved off its balance sheet.

The firm has undergone a major overhaul that included cutting about 7% of its workforce and striking a capital alliance with electronics giant Sony, which is seeking to tap the lucrative medical equipment market.

Olympus, best known for its cameras, also controls about 70 percent of the global market for medical endoscopes. Its digital camera division has taken a hit as consumers increasingly opt for camera-equipped smartphones.

For the year to March 2014 Olympus said it expects net profit to soar to 30 billion on sales of 700 billion yen.

Olympus shares, which closed up 4.46% at 2,715 yen in Tokyo, have now returned to pre-scandal levels. Its latest results were published after markets closed on Wednesday.

Source-Times of india