TOKYO – Japanese steel manufacturer Kobe Steel presented its half-yearly financial results on Monday without a full-year profit forecast because it is still calculating the financial impact of a data falsification scandal.
The third-largest Japanese steelmaker also decided against paying dividends to its shareholders in the face of uncertainty caused by the revelations, and despite the fact that its net profit during the first half of the year was higher than in 2016.
Kobe Steel had a net profit of 39.5 billion yen ($334 million) between April-September, the first-half of the Japanese fiscal year. That was almost seven times more than the same period in 2016, thanks to the increase in demand for automobile materials.
Its operating profit rose 66 percent year-on-year to 51.4 billion yen, while its turnover by sales jumped 11.3 percent up to 907,060 yen.
These results do not include the impact of the “improper conduct” revealed by the company early October, and whose cost to the company’s operations is still being evaluated by Kobe Steel, the company said in a statement.
Kobe Steel’s vice president, Naoto Umehara, said during a press conference that the company is negotiating possible compensation with the companies affected by the case and could not reveal the figure it could amount to.
The company admitted that data for at least 16 products, sold to around 500 companies, might have been faked for over a decade.
The irregularities included tampering with technical specifications to match requirements, falsification of labels and even skipping inspections, according to the company’s internal investigation.