Toshiba pulls earnings forecast over accounting probe

TOKYO - Japan's Toshiba on Friday withdrew its earnings forecast for the past fiscal year and said it won't pay a dividend, citing a probe into accounting irregularities on a number of infrastructure projects.

The vast engineering conglomerate, which makes everything from batteries to nuclear reactors, cancelled its projection for a 120 billion yen (S$1.33 billion, US$1.0 billion) net profit on sales of 6.7 trillion yen in its latest fiscal year to March, and warned it may also have to revise past earnings.

It said it would hire an outside team of experts to look into the matter after finishing an internal investigation.

The company said it underestimated the cost of "certain" infrastructure projects, along with other accounting irregularities.

It did not elaborate and the announcement came after Tokyo markets closed Friday.

But its German-listed shares dived about 17 per cent in early trade.

The firm said it won't report its revised fiscal-year results until at least next month.