Toei, one of the Japan's major film studios, is expected to name current president Tan Takaiwa as its new chairman. Managing director Tsuyoshi Okada, son of outgoing chairman, Shigeru Okada, will take over as president.
Tsuyoshi Okada's appointment will see him hit the ground running to regain financial stability for the company. According to its recently announced results for the 2001 fiscal year, ending March 31, Toei's consolidated net profit dropped 89.9% to $7.3m (Y911M).
The decrease was attributed to an extraordinary loss of $26.2m (Y3.25bn). Much of this loss came from a $15.8m (Y1.96bn) plunge in the value of the company's shareholding, caused by an anemic stock market. The company has also been hit by slumps in two of its other business areas, tourism and real estate. Consolidated sales for the fiscal year fell 0.5%, to $945.8m (Y117.29 bn).
Toei's film business recorded sales of $714.2m (Y88.56bn), for a year-on gain of 2.0%. This modest increase stood in sharp contract to the results of rivals Shochiku and Toho, both of which benefited from such blockbusters as Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone and Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship Of The Ring (Shochiku) and Spirited Away (Toho).
Toei, on the other hand, experienced only modest success at the box office in the last fiscal year, with only one film, the controversial Battle Royale, in the 2001 box office top twenty.
For the current fiscal year, ending March 31, 2003, Toei forecasts that consolidated sales will hold steady at $943m (Y117bn), with a group net profit amounting to $14.5m (Y1.8bn) and pretax profit, to $38.7m (Y4.8bn).