Osaka, Japan — Sharp boosted sales in its audio-visual and communication equipment product group by 13.2 percent in its fiscal first six months, hitting $3.7 billion, up from $3.3 billion in the first half of 2002.
Stagnating sales of conventional products, mainly VCRs and facsimiles, did little to blunt the force of Sharp's A/V group, which primarily makes consumer electronics. This division reported first-half operating income of $115.9 million, a 25.7 percent increase over the $92.2 million reported in the first six months of last year.
Within the A/V group, sales of mobile phones, by far the largest product category, jumped 41.8 percent in the first half, ending Sept. 30, hitting $1.5 billion, compared with $1.1 billion in the year-ago period. Sharp said it was striving to expand mobile phone sales in global markets with the development of high-value-added handsets
Color television, the second largest category, took a 24.7 percent dive in the first half, down to $501.3 million, from $666.6 million in the same period a year earlier. However, sales of LCD color TVs, over 10 inches, more than picked up the slack, with first half sales reaching $627.8 million, a 101.6 percent rise over the $311.1 million registered year on year.
Camcorder sales in the first half were about flat, recording a 2.2 percent increase, to $145.9 million, up from $142.1 million in the first six months of last year.
Even with the increases in its overall CE segment, Sharp recorded a downturn in sales to the Americas, coming in at $1.4 billion in the first six months, compared with $1.6 billion in the first half of 2002.
With the United States showing signs of economic recovery, and sales to Asia continuing to expand steadily, Sharp recorded a 12.6 percent gain in consolidated six-month sales, to $10.1 billion, from $9 billion year over year.
Consolidated operating income jumped 19.8 percent in the period, hitting $540.8 million, up from $451.3 million in the same time frame a year ago. Net income moved up 22.1 percent in the six months, to $258 million, compared with $211.4 million year on year.
Sharp is expecting consolidated fiscal year sales to rise 12.3 percent, to $20.7 billion. Operating income should take a 20.6 percent jump, to $1.1 billion, for the 12 months, while net income is anticipated at $526.3 million, a 74.9 percent increase, year over year.