The company recorded an overall net loss of 48.985 billion yen (£382m) for the year to 31 March, but has yet to decide whether to seek a strategic tie-up with another company.

Last month, Olympus said it had received offers of forming a capital alliance from Sony and Fujifilm, but declined to comment further.

Olympus Imaging Systems Business sales fell by the equivalent of more than £22m, compared to the year before, making an operating net loss of £83.7m.

‘Revenue declined in the Imaging Systems Business, mainly due to intensified competition and the impact of the floods in Thailand,’ stated the firm’s financial results, released last week.

‘This was despite favourable sales of new products in the Olympus Pen series of interchangeable-lens system cameras… and the contribution from sales of the Olympus OM-D E-M5… in addition to growth in sales of high-value added models of compact cameras such as the XZ-1…’

However, cost-cutting – combined with an improvement in cost-to-sales ratio – led to a 4.259 billion yen (£33.2m) contraction in the operating loss of its imaging division.

The news comes as Amateur Photographer (AP) learns that Olympus is due to face whistleblower Michael Woodford (pictured) at a full employment tribunal hearing in east London on 28 May, unless lawyers settle the case out of court beforehand.

Woodford, who was sacked from his position as CEO last October, is suing Olympus for unfair dismissal and has demanded the firm pay his salary for the remaining years of his four-year contract.

The hearings, which will be open to the press and public, are
due to run for five days, from 28 May, confirmed a spokesman for the
East London Tribunal Service, which is based in Stratford.

They will begin at 10am on each day.

If the case is settled privately, it
is not unusual for the tribunal service to be informed of this news as late
as the hearing date itself, added the tribunal spokesman.

An Olympus Tokyo spokesperson today told AP: ‘It is true that there will be the hearing on 28 May.

‘Currently, Mr Woodford and Olympus are in litigation, so we would like to refrain from making any comment as it could affect the lawsuit.’

Meanwhile, the company warns investors that its financial position may be ‘adversely affected’ by the outcome of ongoing legal action.

Japanese regulators have accused Olympus of breaching financial laws related to the £1.1 billion accounting cover-up dating back to the 1990s.

The firm adds: ‘Furthermore, as a result of inappropriate financial reporting by the company, holders of shares etc have filed a lawsuit… and there is a risk that various shareholders and shareholder groups may claim damages or file lawsuits against the company in the future for a similar reason, which may adversely affect the group’s business performances and financial position.’


Amateur Photographer interview with whistleblower

It’s like a ‘John Grisham novel’, whistleblower tells AP


Michael Woodford