Fujitsu Ltd. apologized for its role in the wrongful conviction of more than 900 sub-postmasters who used its accounting software, and said it will do its utmost to boost the quality of its products and regain public trust.
The Tokyo-based technology company is the subject of an inquiry into a glitch in its Horizon accounting software used by the U.K. Post Office that led to the
“Fujitsu regards this matter with the utmost seriousness and offers its deepest apologies to the sub-postmasters and their families,” Chief Financial Officer Takeshi Isobe said during an earnings call on Wednesday.
“We are aware that there are many victims in different situations. We’re conscious that the most important thing we are doing — and ought to do — is to fully cooperate to ensure a swift resolution and a fair outcome,” he said.
The company plans to abstain from bidding for U.K. government contracts, he said,
The company will work to improve its quality control so that it can regain public trust in its systems, Isobe said.
Fujitsu, which supplies IT systems to public institutions around the world, has a moral obligation to contribute to the payouts of compensation for the victims, Fujitsu’s European head
“Fujitsu’s voluntary absence from bidding on IT projects for the U.K. government until the Post Office inquiry is ended could be a wise first step in repairing its brand,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Ian Ma wrote in a note. “Curbing a domino effect in Europe looks crucial as the region drives nearly half of its sales abroad.”
Isobe’s comments came as Fujitsu cut its operating profit outlook for the year to March by 22% to ¥250 billion, after posting a bigger-than expected 95% decline in operating income in the December quarter.
The U.K. Post Office scandal has pushed Fujitsu into the global spotlight for the first time in years. Like fellow Japanese industrial electronics groups Hitachi Ltd., Toshiba Corp. and NEC Corp. — whose fortunes have waxed and waned — Fujitsu has struggled to transform itself in the digital era.
In 2020, a computer system Fujitsu helped develop caused
Fujitsu, which in its heyday was one of the world’s top makers of laptops and chips, is
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