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Sharp Fears 16% Drop in Fis.1st-Half Income

Tokyo – Citing a drop in prices of electronic devices, Sharp said its fiscal first-half consolidated net income is expected to drop by 15.6 percent, to $135 million, for the six months ending September 30, compared with the $157 million recorded in the fiscal first half of 2000.

Group operating income for the six months is expected to decline 13.5 percent, to $375 million, compared with the $430 million reported in the first six months of fiscal 2000.

Consolidated net sales for the fiscal first half are expected to drop 8.1 percent, to $7.5 billion, down from the $8.1 billion notched in the first half of 2000.

Sales of digital products – such as LCD color televisions, 1-bit audio systems and mobile phones – are expected to remain firm. However, the slowdown in the U.S. economy and the sudden drop in demand in the information technology sector are resulting is a steeper decline in prices for key devices than originally forecast. This is particularly true of LCDs and flash memories, said Sharp.

Sharp also said it is going to buy back up to $224 million worth of its own shares, or about 1.77 percent of the total shares outstanding.

The company said it will release its earning forecast for the full year through March 2002 when it reports its fiscal first-half financial results in October.