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Sharp A/V Segment Sales Rise 22.6% In Q3

Osaka, Japan — Booming sales of large-size LCD color TVs and camera-equipped mobile phones translated into an 22.6 percent increase for the audio/visual and communication equipment segment at Sharp during the company’s fiscal third quarter. The A/V segment, mainly consumer electronics products and cellphones, recorded sales of $2.7 billion, up from $2.2 billion in the year-ago period.

In Sharp’s LCD segment, which manufactures high-value-added LCDs, especially for televisions and mobile phones, third-quarter sales reached $1.3 billion, a 16.7 percent rise over the $1.1 billion reported in the same three months in 2003.

Operating income for Sharp’s A/V segment in the third quarter, ended Dec. 31, came in with a small gain of 1.9 percent, due primarily to price constriction in the LCD television category. The business registered operating income of $98.3 million, compared with a year-earlier $96.4 million.

The LCD glass manufacturing segment, however, enjoyed a 46.8 percent increase in third-quarter operating income, with the business recording $117.7 million in the period, up substantially from the $80.2 million posted in the same three months the prior year.

For the nine months, Sharp’s A/V segment sales rose 18 percent to $7.1 billion from a year-ago $6 billion. Segment operating income for the nine months was $245.3 million, up 12.7 percent from the $217.6 million registered in the same nine months in 2003.

LCD segment sales soared 32.2 percent in the nine months, hitting $3.9 billion, up from $3 billion in the same period the previous year. Nine-month operating income for the LCD business reached $406.2 million, a 55.6 percent rise over the $260.8 million posted one year previously.

Due to strong sales of LCDs and mobile phones, which compensated for lower chip prices, Sharp’s consolidated third-quarter sales hit $6.3 billion, a 12.1 percent jump over the same quarter in 2003. Operating income increased 11.4 percent, to $351.9 million, from $315.8 million, while net income moved up 17.5 percent, to $201.5 million, from $171.4 million.

For the nine months, Sharp consolidated sales rose 13.9 percent, reaching $18.4 billion, compared with a year-earlier $16.2 billion. Operating income for the nine months hit $1.1 billion, a 24.9 percent rise over the $881.1 million registered the previous year. Net income was up 31.7 percent to $580.9 million from $441.1 million.