* Japan Post to book 40 bln yen annual loss
* Will record 400 bln yen goodwill writedown on Toll
* Toll Holdings remains "core unit" in group -president
* To cut over 1,700 jobs at Toll in fiscal 2017
(Writes through, updates sourcing, adds president's comments)
By Thomas Wilson and Taro Fuse
TOKYO, April 25 Japan Post Holdings Co
said on Tuesday it will book its first annual loss in at least a
decade, after unveiling a $3.6 billion writedown on its
Australian logistics arm Toll Holdings Ltd.
Japan Post estimated its loss at 40 billion yen ($362.35
million) for the year ended in March, becoming the latest
Japanese company to stumble after a high-profile overseas
Japan Inc has spent heavily on overseas mergers and
acquisitions in recent years, often paying hefty premiums to tap
growth overseas amid dismal prospects at home.
But many bets have failed. Toshiba Corp is expected
to report a net loss of around 1 trillion yen due to charges
related to the bankruptcy of its Westinghouse nuclear unit,
which it acquired in 2006.
The Japanese firm will also in the year to March 2018 cut
more than 1,700 jobs at Toll, but will still remain a "core
unit" for Japan Post Group, said Japan Post President Masatsugu
Nagato at a press conference.
"The price we paid for Toll was high," Nagato said. "The
writedown is intended to wipe the slate clean."
Japan Post, a conglomerate that spans postal delivery,
banking and insurance, had originally forecast 320 billion yen
in net profit for the financial year ended in March, down 25
percent from the previous year.
The company, 80 percent owned by the government, bought Toll
in May 2015 for A$6.5 billion ($4.9 billion) in a deal designed
to boost its global logistics reach and offset a decline in its
domestic postal operations.
At the time of the Toll deal, Toru Takahashi, then-chief
executive of Japan Post Co, had said there would be no major job
cuts at Toll.
But Toll has been hit with a drop in parcel volumes as
Australia's economy is buffeted by falling commodity prices,
leading Japan Post to book the impairment loss.
Despite Toll's problems, Nagato said Japan Post was
"constantly looking out for other acquisitions, including those
beyond the logistics sector."
($1 = 109.9000 yen)
($1 = 1.3231 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Thomas Wilson and Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Shri
Navaratnam and Randy Fabi)