Olympus reports a 33bn-yen loss

Olympus logo Olympus was allowed to keep its listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange despite the scandal

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Olympus, the Japanese cameramaker, reported a loss for the nine months to the end of December 2011 as it battles an accounting scandal.

The firm made a 33.09bn yen (£269m; $426m) loss over the period, compared with a 5.84bn yen profit over the same time in the previous year.

Olympus has admitted to hiding losses of $1.7bn for as long as 20 years.

Olympus forecast on Monday that it would make a 32bn-yen loss for the full year to the end of March 2012.

The company is preparing to question its former board members in April after former chief executive Michael Woodford blew the whistle on accounting irregularities in October 2011.

The scandal, which became public in October last year, has caused Olympus' share price to fall by almost 50%.

Mr Woodford claimed he was dismissed as the chief executive for raising concerns about the company's accounting practices.

He said he had questioned Olympus' payment of $687m in fees to financial advisers during the acquisition of UK medical equipment company Gyrus.

Though the company initially denied any wrongdoing, it later admitted that it had been hiding losses. The company has since sued 19 executives for the cover-up.

Olympus was allowed to keep its listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in January, although the firm was fined 10m yen by the exchange.

Olympus's business has suffered over the past decade, with the rise in cameraphones eating into the digital camera market, but the firm still has a 70% share in the market for medical endoscopes, which remains strong.

Operating profit in its medical systems business rose 7% in the three months to the end of December 2011.

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