Fujifilm delays earnings over NZ unit accounting problems

Fujifilm has shifted into businesses such as the health sector after the plunge in photo film sales

Fujifilm is delaying the release of its financial results as it probes accounting irregularities at a New Zealand unit, raising fears Japan Inc is headed for another embarrassing accounting scandal.

The company said it is setting up an independent committee of outside experts to look into the "appropriateness of accounting practices" at subsidiary Fuji Xerox New Zealand.

It became "necessary to review certain accounting practices at Fuji Xerox New Zealand, such as the recording and recoverability of receivables related to certain sales leasing transactions", the company said in a statement Thursday.

Fujifilm -- which shifted into other businesses including the health sector after the plunge in photo film sales -- said it has so far pinpointed about 22 billion yen ($201 million) in losses tied to accounting at the division.

The announcement comes after Toshiba delayed its results repeatedly as it probes allegations of improper accounting at a US nuclear unit hammered by multi-billion-dollar losses.

Fujifilm said it would delay releasing its earnings for the just-ended fiscal year through March until an unspecified date. The results were due next week.

Fujifilm's Tokyo-listed shares fell 3.89 percent to 3,993 yen by Friday's break.