Japan


Home > About Toshiba > Investor Relations > Toshiba Overview >

Business Risk Factors

Risk factors relating to the Toshiba Group ("the Group") and its business

The business areas of energy and electronics, the Group’s main business areas, require highly advanced technology for their operation. At the same time, the Group faces fierce global competition. Therefore, appropriate risk management is indispensable. Major risk factors related to the Group recognized by the Company are described below. The actual occurrence of any of those risk factors may adversely affect the Group’s operating results and financial condition.

The risks described below are identified by the Group based on information available to the Group as of June 25, 2013 and involve inherent uncertainties, and, therefore, the actual results may differ. The Group recognizes these risks and makes every effort to avoid the occurrence of these risks and minimize any impact from them when they occur, by maintaining the proper risk management.

1. Risks related to management policy

(1) Strategic concentrated investment

In response to the issues that the current global economy faces, such as the increase in demand for energy or the rise in the price of resources, which are associated with the growth and expansion of emerging economies, and mass capacity growth of the information transmission and/or storage and the ensuring of the information security, the Group proposes a comprehensive solution through the construction of smart communities, by combining and integrating effectively the respective technologies in which the Group has an advantage. In addition, the Group makes strategic concentrated investment in the categories of total energy innovation, such as power generation systems, renewable energy and power electronics/EV, and total storage innovation, such as NAND flash memory, HDD/SSD, health care solutions, and retail solutions. In areas such as System LSIs, the Group is also restructuring and selectively allocating resources. While it is essential to allocate limited management resources to high growth areas or areas in which the Group enjoys competitiveness, in order to secure and maintain the Group’s advantages, the areas in which the Group makes concentrated investments may not grow as anticipated, the Group may not maintain or strengthen its competitive power in such areas, or the relevant investments may not fully generate the anticipated level of profit. In order to avoid such risks, the Group is conscious of capital costs and of the need to conduct careful selection of investment items and to enhance progress management. Alongside these efforts, the Group also aims to achieve growth through allocation of strategic resources and to reinforce its financial base, by means of thorough implementation of comprehensive management of all relevant investments that reflect the nature of each individual business. Further to this, the Group also makes every effort to utilize external resources through strategic business alliances where necessary.

(2) Success of strategic business alliances and acquisitions

The Group actively promotes business alliances with other companies, including the formation of joint ventures and acquisitions, in order to grow new businesses in research and development, production, marketing and various other areas. If the Group has any disagreement with its partner in a business alliance or an acquisition in respect of financing, technological management, product development, management strategies or otherwise, such business alliance may be terminated or such acquisition may not have the expected effects. In addition, the Group’s operating results and financial condition may be adversely affected by additional capital expenditures and provision of guaranties to meet the obligations for such partnership business that may be incurred due to the deterioration of the financial condition of the partner, as well as for other reasons. Based on these assumptions, the Group pays careful attention to optimizing business formation to secure correspondence to the nature of the relevant business.

(3) Business structure reformation

The Group as a whole is taking measures to reform its business structure, in order to continue and deepen the establishment, through self-transformation, of the business quality by which it can ensure a stable profit, not susceptible to a changing environment, and there is a possibility that the Group will incur expenses for business structure reform in this connection. Although there is a possibility that the Group’s operating results or financial condition may be affected in the event of unexpected fluctuations in the foreign exchange rate, or the failure of such reform programs to produce the expected results, the Group, in an attempt to minimize impact from exchange rate fluctuations, has made efforts to expand globally optimized production and procurement and to secure multiple suppliers, among other things. While consolidating and optimizing facilities in Japan and abroad, the Group aims to achieve a structure that maximizes Group synergy, in addition to streamlining the business structure.

(4) Measure for defense against hostile takeover

The Company has introduced a plan outlining countermeasures that may be taken against any large-scale acquisitions of the Company’s shares (the "Takeover Defense Measures"). If an entity making a large-scale acquisition of the Company’s shares does not comply with the procedures under the Takeover Defense Measures, the Company will counteract by making a gratis allotment of stock acquisition rights (shinkabu yoyakuken) under the Takeover Defense Measures. Although such Takeover Defense Measures were introduced for the purpose of protecting and enhancing the corporate value of the Company and the common interests of its shareholders, they may limit the opportunities for the shareholders of the Company to sell their shares to hostile acquirers.

To Top

2. Risks related to financial condition, results of operations and cash flow

(1) Business environment of the Digital Products business

The market for the Digital Products business is intensely competitive, with many companies manufacturing and selling products similar to those offered by the Group. Additionally, this business may be significantly affected by exchange rate fluctuations, economic fluctuations and consumer spending trends which may be affected by the scheduled increase in consumption tax, among other things. The Group makes efforts to monitor the latest trends in market demand in order to better respond to changes in supply and demand conditions, as well as to better manage its production, procurement, sales and inventory. At the same time, the Group makes efforts to minimize risks and reduce costs in connection with the procurement of parts and components by promoting package procurement measures comprehensive procurement on a Group-wide basis. The Group also makes every effort to minimize the potential impact of the market volatility by undertaking regional strategies (such as with respect to the emerging markets, including China, that have relatively high economic growth rates) to promote business expansion. However, any rapid fluctuation in demand may result in price erosion or increases in prices of parts and components, which may adversely affect the Group’s financial results with respect to this business.

The Visual Products business, which includes TVs, has been affected by a continued decrease in Japanese market demand following completion of the shift to digital terrestrial broadcasting in Japan, the drastic decline in sales prices and sluggish sales in the United States and China. Also, the PC business has been affected by the slowdown in demand centered in the United States and competition with other digital products, such as smartphones. However, because the growth in the emerging markets centered around Asia is supposed to remain strong, the Company, in addition to continuous development of local fit products based on consideration of characteristics of each region, centering on the emerging markets, has also been making efforts to promote "local-fit reversing" by selling products developed in emerging markets in advanced economies.

The Group is promoting structural reforms in an attempt to improve profit and enhance the basic structure of the Digital Products segments. To be more specific, functions to design and develop televisions were consolidated into the Ome Complex which is a site to design and develop personal and tablet computers in order to accelerate development toward creation of their fusion products, local fit products and value-added services. The Group also made operations more efficient by consolidating part of its TV repair works to a subsidiary, and transferred quality and production control operations from the Ome Complex to each overseas base. In relation to production systems, the Group has reinforced cost competitiveness by enhancing production facilities in emerging economies and expanding consignment production.

(2) Business environment of the Electronic Devices business

The market for the Electronic Devices business is highly cyclical, depending on demand, and intensely competitive, with many companies, mainly in overseas markets, manufacturing and selling products similar to those offered by the Group. The results of this business tend to change with economic fluctuations and, in particular, to be heavily affected by exchange rate fluctuations. Unforeseen market changes and corresponding changes in demand at the time of production may result in a mismatch between the Management’s Discussion and Analysis production of particular products based on the sales volume initially expected and the actual demand for such products, or cause the business to be adversely affected by a decrease in product unit prices due to oversupply. In particular, the price for NAND flash memory, the Group’s major product in this business, may undergo rapid change, and changes in the consumer market or semiconductor heavy users may influence demand for System LSIs and other semiconductor products. Fluctuations in the results of this business may materially affect the Group’s overall business performance. In addition, the market may face a downturn, the Group may fail to market new products in a timely manner, production may not go as planned, or a rapid introduction of new technology may make the Group’s current products obsolete. Economies of scale with respect to the manufacture of the many products produced by this business are significant and there is intense competition to develop and market new products. Therefore, significant levels of capital expenditures are required to maintain and improve competitiveness in both the price and quality of products.

The Group makes every effort to implement the business by focusing its attention on these factors and promoting strategic allocation of resources. At the same time, the Group makes every effort to increase profits by enhancing cost competitiveness, which is to be achieved by maintaining a technological advantage, and expanding the product line-up. Additionally, the Group undertakes rigorous selection in its investments and makes every effort to carefully monitor the latest market trends and to make capital investments in a timely manner, while thoroughly controlling flexible production that corresponds to fluctuations in market demand, adjustment of supplies and investment management. The Group promotes procurement of components from overseas in US dollars in order to mitigate the impact of exchange rate fluctuations.

(3) Business environment of the Social Infrastructure business

A significant portion of net sales in the Social Infrastructure business is attributable to national and local government expenditures on public works and to capital expenditures by the private sector. The Group monitors trends in such capital TOSHIBA Annual Report 2013 13 expenditures in conducting its business and also makes best efforts to cultivate new business and customers. However, reductions and delays in spending on public works, low levels of private capital expenditures due to economic recession, and exchange rate fluctuations may have a negative impact on this business.

Furthermore, this business involves the supply of products and services for large-scale projects on a worldwide basis. Post order changes in the specifications or other terms, delays, appreciation of material costs, changes to and stoppages of plans for various reasons, including policy changes, natural and other disasters and other factors, may adversely and substantially affect the progress of such projects. In addition, when the percentage of completion method is applied to revenue recognition for long term construction contracts, the Group may reassess profits previously recorded as accrued and record them as a loss, in the event that the expected profits from such projects do not meet original expectations or projects are delayed or cancelled for some reason. Furthermore, it may not be possible to pass on to the customer or others any additional costs incurred due to delays in the work process, and such costs may not be collected. In order to deal with such cases, the Group makes every effort to grasp trends in markets and projects and to ensure thorough risk management before and after accepting orders. In addition, whenever possible, the Group makes every effort to appropriately avoid risk by making agreements with customers for advance payment or performance payments, as well as other agreements on supplemental payments in the event of changes in specifications and delays in work. Although difficulties may arise for the continuance of certain currently ongoing projects due to a change in the policies of fund providers and other factors, the Group is making every effort to obtain other fund providers for such pending projects.

With respect to the nuclear power business, since the incident that occurred at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, there is a possibility that, to some extent, the project plans and orders obtained by the Group may be reconsidered. With respect to the existing power plants, we will respond with permanent improvements in accordance with safety standards to be revised based on the analysis of the situation resulting from the incident above. In addition, taking into account the lessons learned from the situation resulting from the incident above, upon development of the nuclear power reactor with higher safety standards corresponding to the loss of all electric sources or severe accident and next-generation small reactor, the Group is promoting the establishment of a low carbon mainstay electric source. With respect to the new construction of power plants, it is necessary to incorporate revised future safety standards, and the Group will determine its future development while confirming the status of customers in various countries and regions. In overseas countries, construction of the Group’s new pressurized-water reactor is proceeding smoothly in the United States and China.

There is a possibility that the Japanese electric power companies’ reduction of investment in the electricity distribution fields resulted from the Great East Japan Earthquake will affect the Company’s electric power distribution system business. In response to this, by accelerating the global expansion of the electric power distribution system business, including production, the Group plans to expand the business centered around emerging economies.

(4) Business environment of the Home Appliances business

The Home Appliances business faces intense competition from many companies manufacturing and selling products similar to those offered by the Group. In addition, the results of this business tend to be strongly affected by exchange rate fluctuations, consumer spending and trends in building and housing construction starts relative to the lighting and air-conditioning businesses. Accordingly, this business may be affected by the impact of a decrease in prices and an increase in consumption tax, among other things. Given this, the Group is making every effort to expand this business by developing it at the global level, including in emerging economies that have a high growth rate, as well as by developing new products that are environmentally friendly and that contribute to energy saving, such as new lighting systems.

(5) Financial risk

Apart from being affected by the business operations of the Company or the Group, the Company’s consolidated and nonconsolidated results and financial condition may be affected by the following major financial factors:

(ⅰ) Deferred tax assets

The Company accounted for a substantial amount of deferred tax assets. The Group reduces deferred tax assets by a valuation allowance if, based on the weight of available evidence, some portion or all of the deferred tax assets are unlikely to be realized. Recording of valuation allowances includes estimates and therefore involves inherent uncertainty.

The Group may also be required hereafter to record further valuation allowances, and the Group’s future results and financial condition may be adversely affected thereby.

The Group may be affected by future tax regulatory changes as the recordation of deferred tax assets and valuation allowances have been made based on the currently-effective tax regulations.

(ⅱ) Exchange rate fluctuations

The Group conducts business in various regions worldwide using a variety of foreign currencies and is therefore exposed to exchange rate fluctuations.

Although the Group makes efforts to minimize the effect of fluctuation in exchange rates by balancing sales in foreign currencies and purchase in foreign currencies, there is a possibility that operating income/loss will be affected by exchange rate fluctuations due to a change in the balance in each business segments and other factors. Also, there is a possibility that such foreign exchange losses will occur, as resulting from a difference between the exchange rates at the time of recognizing and at the time of settlement of the credits and debts in foreign currencies, in case of steep exchange rate fluctuations.

Foreign currency denominated assets and liabilities held by the Group are translated into yen as the currency for reporting consolidated financial results. The effects of currency translation adjustments are included in "accumulated other comprehensive income (loss)" reported as a component of equity attributable to shareholders of the Company ("shareholders’ equity"). As a result, the Group’s shareholders’ equity may be affected by exchange rate fluctuations.

(ⅲ) Accrued pension and severance costs

The Group recognizes the funded status (i.e., the difference between the fair value of plan assets and the benefit Management’s Discussion and Analysis obligations) of its pension plan in the consolidated balance sheets, with a corresponding adjustment, net of tax, included in "accumulated other comprehensive loss" reported as a component of shareholders’ equity. Such adjustment to "accumulated other comprehensive loss" represents the result of adjustment for the net unrecognized actuarial losses, unrecognized prior service costs, and unrecognized transition obligations. These amounts will be subsequently recognized as net periodic pension and severance costs calculated pursuant to the applicable accounting standards. The funded status of the Group’s pension plan may deteriorate due to declines in the fair value of plan assets caused by lower returns, increases of severance benefit obligations caused by changes in the discount rate, salary increase rates or other actuarial assumptions. As a result, the Group’s shareholders’ equity may be adversely affected, and the net periodic pension and severance costs to be recorded in "cost of sales" or "selling, general and administrative expenses" may increase.

(ⅳ) Impairment of long-lived assets, goodwill and listed shares.

If there is an indication of impairment for a long-lived asset and the carrying amount of such asset will not be recovered by the future undiscounted cash flow, the carrying amount may be reduced to its fair value and a loss may be recognized as an impairment with respect to such difference. A substantial amount of goodwill has been recorded in the Company’s consolidated balance sheets in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. Goodwill is required to be tested for impairment annually. If an impairment test shows that the total of the carrying amounts, including goodwill, in relation to the business related to such goodwill exceeds its fair value, the relevant goodwill must be recalculated, and the difference between the current amount and the recalculated amount will be recognized as an impairment. Therefore, additional impairments may be recorded, depending on the valuation of long-lived assets and the estimate of future cash flow from business related to goodwill.

Also, if the market price of listed shares held by the Group as the marketable securities declines, there is a possibility that an impairment loss on the relevant shares will be recorded or that the net unrealized losses on securities will be recognized.

(6) Changes in financing environment and others

The Group has substantial amounts of interest-bearing debt for financing that is highly susceptible to market environments, including the European debt crisis, interest rate movements and fund supply and demand. Thus, changes in these factors may have an adverse effect on the Group’s funding activities. The Group has also been raising funds by issuing bonds or taking loans from financial institutions. In the case the financial markets fall into unstable turmoil, the financial institutions’ reduction in their lending in response to the change in capital adequacy requirements, or the downgrading of the credit rating of the Company given by rating agencies, there can be no assurance that the Group will obtain refinancing loans or new loans in the future on similar terms. If the Group is unable to obtain loans for the amount needed by the Group in a timely manner, the Group’s financing may be adversely affected.

In addition, loan agreements entered into between the Company and several financial institutions provide for financial covenants. Therefore, if the Company’s consolidated net assets, consolidated operating income or credit rating falls below the respective levels provided for in the financial covenants, the Company’s obligations with respect to the relevant loan repayments may be accelerated upon demand by the relevant lending financial institutions. Furthermore, any breach by the Company of those financial covenants may trigger acceleration of the bonds or other borrowings of the Company.

The Company aims to improve business performance by promoting, among other things, restructuring programs and business structure conversions, while making all possible efforts to obtain the understanding of the lending financial institutions with respect to this, in order to avoid breaching financial covenants and the consequent acceleration of repayments. However, if any acceleration of the Company’s loan repayments occurs, it may materially affect the Company’s business operations.

To Top

3. Risks related to business partners and others

(1) Procurement of components and materials

It is important for the Group’s business activities to procure materials, components and other goods in a timely and appropriate manner. However, such materials, components and goods may only be obtainable from a limited number of suppliers due to the particularity of such materials, components and goods, and, therefore, such suppliers may not be easily replaced [if the need to do so arises]. In cases of delay or other problems in receiving supply of such materials, components and other goods, shortages may occur or procurement costs may rise. It is necessary to procure materials, components and other goods at competitive costs and to optimize the entire supply chain, including suppliers, in order for the Group to bring competitive products to market. In addition, a shortage in the electric power supply resulted from the suspension of the operation of nuclear power plants in Japan and a further rise in electricity costs due to the rise of fuel costs affected by exchange rate fluctuations may affect business activities, including manufacturing operations, of the Group, since a stable supply of electricity is essential to the Group’s business activities.

Any failure by the Group to procure such materials, components and other goods from key suppliers or any shortage in the power supply or further rise in electricity costs may impact the Group’s competitiveness. Furthermore, any case of defective materials, components or other goods, or any failure to meet required specifications with respect to such materials, components or other goods, may also have an adverse effect on the reliability and reputation of the Group and Toshiba brand products.

In order to deal with such situations, the Group makes every effort to avoid risks by developing and cultivating new suppliers, promoting multi-vendor procurement by means of adopting standard products, and engaging in comprehensive procurement on a Group-wide basis, in addition to ensuring acquisition of materials, components and other goods through enhanced cooperation with key suppliers.

(2) Securing human resources

A large part of the success of the Group’s businesses depends on securing excellent human resources in every business area and process, including product development, production, marketing and business management. In particular, securing the necessary human resources is essential in respect of achieving globalization of the Group’s businesses. However, competition to secure human resources is intensifying, as the number of qualified personnel in each area and process is limited, while demand for such personnel is increasing. As a result, the Group may fail to retain existing employees or to obtain new human resources.

The Group will further reinforce educational programs for employees, toward developing human resources, including nurturing personnel able to support and promote business globalization.
In order to reduce fixed costs, the Group is implementing personnel measures, including the reallocation of human resources to focus on strong and promising businesses, reclaiming jobs that are outsourced to third parties or conducted by limited-term employees, reducing the number of limited-term employees implementing a leave system, and reducing overtime through a review of working systems. However, fixed costs may not be reduced as anticipated or the implementation of such personnel measures may adversely affect the Group’s employee morale, production efficiency or the ability to secure capable human resources.

To Top

4. Risks related to products and technologies

(1) Investments in new businesses

The Group invests in companies involved in new businesses, enters into alliances with other companies with respect to new businesses, and actively develops its own new businesses. The Group is now accelerating expansion of new growth businesses that can take advantage of a synergy of the Group’s strengths in areas that include integrated storage, smart communities, power electronics and EV, renewable energy, healthcare and digital fusion products. Promotion of new business is essential for implementation of the growth strategy, and as a part of this, in the year ended March 31, 2013, the Group acquired the Retail Stores Solutions business from IBM Corporation, a company incorporated in the United States.

Cultivation of new businesses entails substantial uncertainty, and if any new business in which the Group invests or which the Group attempts to develop does not progress as planned, the Group may be adversely affected by incurring investment expenses that do not lead to the anticipated results. In order to avoid these risks, the Group makes every effort to resolve various technological issues and to develop and capture potential demand effectively in the new business development process.

To Top

5. Risks related to trade practices

(1) Parent company’s guarantees

When a subsidiary of the Company accepts an order for a large project, such as a plant, the Company, as the parent company, may, at the request of the customer, provide guarantees with respect to the subsidiary’s performance under the contract. Such parent guarantees are made pursuant to standard business practices and in the ordinary course of business. If the subsidiary subsequently fails to fulfill its obligations, the Company may be obligated to bear the resulting loss. The Company makes every effort to conduct appropriate management by periodically monitoring the subsidiaries’ fulfillment of the contract requirements and by cooperating with such subsidiaries where necessary.

6. Risks related to new products and new technology

(1) Development of new products

It is critically important for the Group to offer innovative and attractive new products and services. The Group has exerted its efforts to create "World-First" and "World No.1" products that deliver surprise and inspiration to customers, ahead of the needs of customers. However, due to the rapid pace of technological innovation, the emergence of alternative technologies and products and changes in technological standards, the optimum introduction of new products to the market may not be accomplished, or new products may be accepted by the market for a shorter period than anticipated. In addition, any failure on the part of the Group to continuously obtain sufficient funding and resources for development of technologies may affect the Group’s ability to develop new products and services and to introduce them to market.

From the viewpoint of enhancing concentration and selection of managerial resources, the Group now selects research and development themes more rigorously, with a primary focus on developing original and advanced technologies, with close consideration for the timing of market introduction. More rigorous selection of research and development items may impair the Group’s technological superiority in certain products and technological fields. In order to avoid these risks, the Group intends to enhance the efficiency of research and development activities by sharing intellectual property through the promotion of common platforms and using overseas resources more efficiently in system development.

To Top

7. Risks related to laws and regulations

(1) Information security

The Group maintains and manages personal information obtained through business operations, as well as trade secrets regarding the Group’s technology, marketing and other business operations. Even though the Group makes every effort to manage this information appropriately, the Group’s business performance and financial situation may be subject to negative influences in the event of an unanticipated leak of such information and such information is obtained and used illegally by a third party.

Additionally, the role of information systems in the Group is critical to carrying out business activities. While the Group makes every effort to ensure the stable operation of its information systems, there is no assurance that their functionality would not be impaired or destroyed by computer viruses, software or hardware failures, disaster, terrorism, or other causes.

(2) Compliance and internal control

The Group is active in various businesses in regions worldwide, and its business activities are subject to the laws and regulations of each region. The Group has implemented and operates necessary and appropriate internal control systems for a number of purposes, including compliance with laws and regulations and strict reporting of business and financial matters.

However, there can be no assurance that the Group will always be able to structure and operate effective internal control systems. Furthermore, such internal control systems may themselves, by their nature, have limitations, and it is not possible to guarantee that they will fully achieve their objectives. Therefore, there is no assurance that the Group will not unknowingly and unintentionally violate laws and regulations in future. Changes in laws and regulations or changes in Management’s Discussion and Analysis interpretations of laws and regulations by the relevant authorities may also cause difficulty in achieving compliance with laws and regulations or may result in increased compliance costs. On these grounds, the Group makes every effort to minimize these risks by making periodic revisions to the internal control systems, continuously monitoring operations, and so forth.

(3) The environment

The Group is subject to various environmental laws, including laws on air pollution, water pollution, toxic substances, waste disposal, product recycling, prevention of global warming and energy policies, in its global business activities. While the Group pays careful attention to these laws and regulations, it is possible that the Group may encounter legal or social liability for environmental matters, such as liability for the clean up of land at manufacturing bases throughout the world, regardless of whether the Group is at fault or not, with respect to its business activities, including its past activities. It is also possible that, in future, the Group will face more stringent requirements on the removal of environmental hazards, including toxic substances, or on further reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, as a result of the introduction of more demanding environmental regulations or in accordance with societal requirements.

The Group’s operations require the use of various chemical compounds, radioactive materials, nuclear materials and other toxic materials. The Group takes maximum care of such materials, giving first priority to human life and safety. However, the Group may incur damage, or the Group’s reputation may be adversely affected, as a result of a natural disaster, the threat or occurrence of a terrorist incident, or of an accident or other contingency (including those beyond the Group’s control) that leads to environmental pollution or the potential for such pollution.

(4) Product quality claims

While the Group makes every effort to implement quality control measures and to manufacture its products in accordance with appropriate quality-control standards, there can be no assurance that all products are free of defects that may result in a recall, lawsuits or other claims relating to product quality due to unforeseen reasons or circumstances.

To Top

8. Risks related to material legal proceedings

(1) Legal proceedings

The Group undertakes global business operations and is involved from time to time in disputes, including lawsuits and other legal proceedings, and investigations by relevant authorities. It is possible that such cases may arise in the future. Due to the differences in judicial systems and the uncertainties inherent in such proceedings, the Group may be subject to a ruling requiring payment of amounts far exceeding its expectations. Any judgment or decision unfavorable to the Group could also have a material adverse effect on the Group’s business, operating results or financial condition. In addition, due to various circumstances, there can be no assurance that lawsuits involving claims for large sums will not be brought, even if the possibility of receiving orders for such payment is quite low.

In January 2007, the European Commission adopted a decision to impose a fine on the Company for violating EU Competition Law in the gas insulated switchgear market. Following its own investigation, the Company contends that it has not found any infringement of EU Competition Law, and it brought an action to the General Court of the European Union. Then, the General Court of the European Union handed down a judgment and annulled the entire fine imposed on the Company, but upheld the European Commission’s determination regarding the alleged anti-competitive behavior. The Company appealed to the European Court of Justice in September 2011, seeking annulment of that judgment. In June 2012, the European Commission decided to recalculate the fine which had been annulled with the above-mentioned judgment, and imposed it on the Company again. With this decision, the Company was individually fined 56.8 million euro and was also fined 4.65 million euro jointly and severally with Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. In September 2012, the Company brought an action to the General Court of the European Union, contending that the procedures related to the decision and its substances were unreasonable.

Furthermore, the Group is under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Commission, and other competition regulatory authorities, for alleged violations of competition laws with respect to products that include semiconductors, LCD products, cathode ray tubes (CRT), heavy electrical equipment, and optical disc devices, while class action lawsuits with respect to alleged anti-competitive behavior brought against the Group are currently pending in the United States.

The Ministry of Defense ("MOD") cancelled a contract for the development and manufacture of the "reconnaissance system for the F-15" between MOD and the Company. Therefore, in July 2011, the Company filed a lawsuit against MOD with the Tokyo District Court seeking payment therefor. In October 2012, MOD filed a countersuit for penalty charges based on the alleged infringement by the Company of the contract. The Company believes that it had properly executed its duties pursuant to the conditions of the contract and that MOD’s cancellation of the contract and claim for penalty charges were unreasonable. Therefore, the Company will assert its opinion in the suit.

In the U.S., since December 2006, actions against the Group and others to claim for damages have been filed by purchasers, etc. of LCD-related products on the ground of alleged infringements of U.S. Competition Law. Among them, lawsuits with individual companies have been pending. Believing that the Group has not committed any violations in the LCD business, the Company intends to take any legal action to have its claims accepted.

In December 2012, the European Commission determined that there was an infringement of EU Competition Law in the Color Picture Cathode Ray Tube market, and adopted the decision to impose a fine of approximately 28 million euro on the Company, plus a fine of approximately 87 million euro jointly and severally with Panasonic Corporation and MT Picture Display Co., Ltd. According to the Company’s investigation, the Company has not infringed EU Competition law. Therefore, the Company brought an action to the General Court of the European Union in February 2013.

To Top

9. Risks related to directors, employees, major shareholders and affiliates

(1) Alliance in NAND flash memory

The Group has a strategic alliance with a U.S. company, SanDisk Corporation ("SanDisk"), for the production of NAND flash memory, which includes production joint ventures (equity method affiliates). Under the joint venture agreement, the Group may purchase SanDisk’s ownership interests in the production joint ventures. In addition, the Company and SanDisk each provide a 50% guaranty in respect of the lease agreements of production facilities held by the production joint ventures. In the event that SanDisk’s operating results and financial condition deteriorate, the Company may succeed to SanDisk’s guaranty obligations or purchase SanDisk’s ownership interests in the relevant production joint ventures, in which case the production joint ventures will thereafter be treated as consolidated subsidiaries of the Company.

(2) Alliance in nuclear power systems business

The Group acquired Westinghouse group in October 2006. The Company’s ownership interest in Westinghouse group (including the holding companies) is currently 87% at present. The remainder is held by two companies in Japan and overseas (the "Minority Shareholders"). Several companies have already expressed an interest in investing in Westinghouse and the Company is considering inviting the participation of new investors in Westinghouse, on the condition that the Company retains a majority-in-interest.

The Minority Shareholders, based on a separate agreement with the Company, have been given an option to sell all or part of their ownership interests to the Company ("Put Options").

The Group also has an option to purchase from the Minority Shareholders all or part of their respective ownership interest in companies of Westinghouse group under certain conditions. These options are in place for the purpose of protecting the interests of the Minority Shareholders, while preventing equity participation by a third party which may put the Group at disadvantage. The Company makes every effort to maintain a favorable relationship with the Minority Shareholders in connection with Westinghouse group’s business. However in the event that the Minority Shareholders exercise their respective Put Options, or the Group exercises its purchase option, the Group will seek investment from a new strategic partner. Prior to such an investment, the Group may need to procure a certain amount of funds in connection with the exercise of Put Options or purchase options.

To Top

10. Others

(1)Measures against counterfeit products

While the Group protects and seeks to enhance the value of the Toshiba brand, counterfeit products created by third parties are found worldwide. While the Group makes every effort to prevent counterfeit products, the heavy circulation of counterfeit products may dilute the value of the Toshiba brand, and the Group’s net sales may be adversely affected.

(2) Protection of intellectual property rights

The Group makes every effort to secure intellectual property rights. However, in some regions, it may not be possible to secure sufficient protection.

The Group also uses the intellectual property of third parties pursuant to licenses. It is possible that the Group may fail to receive the necessary third-party licenses for new technology or is unable to obtain the renewal of existing licenses or receives them on unfavorable terms.

In addition, it is also possible that a suit or such similar action or proceeding may be brought against the Group in respect of intellectual property rights or that the Group may itself have to file a suit in order to protect its intellectual property rights. Such lawsuits may require time, costs and other management resources, and depending on the outcome of these lawsuits, the Group may not be able to use important technology, or the Group may be found to be liable for damages.

(3) Political, economic and social conditions

The Group undertakes global business operations. Any changes in political, economic, and social conditions and policies, legal or regulatory changes and exchange rate fluctuations, in Japan or overseas, may impact market demand and the Group’s business operations. The Group makes every effort to avoid these risks and to reduce any impact when such risks emerge by continuously monitoring changes in the situation in each region where the Group operates, including legal and regulatory changes, and by promptly initiating countermeasures.

(4) Sovereign Risk

In an environment marked by anxiety over the future financial condition of some of the European countries, concern over the financial system persists, the influence of which is not only the direct influence within Europe, but also the indirect influence on other regions, such as the deterioration in emerging economies due to fluctuation in exchange rates or withdrawal of funds by European banks or economic stagnation in the Chinese economy. If the financial condition of some countries should collapse, there is a possibility that the financial and capital markets and global economy will be significantly affected, and the Group, letting the financial crisis in 2008 be a lesson, has been advancing the measures therefor since 2011, upon implementing the stress test and setting the trigger event.

(5) Natural disasters

Most of the Group’s Japanese production facilities are located in the Keihin region of Japan, which includes Tokyo, Kawasaki City, Yokohama City and the surrounding area, while key semiconductor production facilities are located in Kyushu, Tokai, Hanshin and Tohoku. The Group is currently expanding its production facilities in Asia. As a result, any occurrence of a wide-scale disaster, terrorism or epidemic illness, such as a new type of flu, particularly in any of these areas could have a more significant adverse effect on the Group’s results.

Additionally, large-scale disasters, such as earthquakes or typhoons, in regions where production or distribution sites are located may damage or destroy production capabilities, suspend procurement of raw materials or components, and cause transportation and sales interruptions or other similar disruptions, which could affect production capabilities significantly. In the past, the businesses of the Group were affected to a certain extent by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the floods in Thailand.

In order to manage these risks, the Group established the "Business Continuity Plan (BCP)" as part of its continuing effort to avoid or minimize any impact from such disasters in addition to establishing the precautionary measures, such as construction of earthquake-resistant buildings and emergency procedures responsive to large-scale disasters.

This Web site contains projections of business results, statements regarding business plans and other forward-looking statements. This information is based on certain assumptions, such as the economic environment, business policies and other factors, as of the date when each document was posted. Actual results may differ significantly from the estimates listed here.

Related Information

2013 Annual Report

Stock ChartA separate window will open.

Stock chart
@Euroland > Terms of useA separate window will open.