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Sharp Reports Loss For Fiscal Year

Tokyo — Sharp reported a $1.29 billion net loss and a double-digit drop in sales for its fiscal year, ended March 31.

The loss is compared with the previous fiscal year’s profit of just more $1 billion. Sales were down 16.7 percent for the year vs. the prior fiscal year, to $29.3 billion.

Sharp blamed its performance on the U.S. subprime mortgage loan problem, rapid appreciation of the yen and resulting cuts in “private consumption and corporate investment, which forced the Japanese economy into a further slowdown,” the company said.

Sales of its audio/visual and communications products were down 18.6 percent in yen, but unit sales of LCD color TVs increased due to severe price declines and the appreciation of the yen. Mobile phone sales “declined significantly” due to a sluggish domestic market. Sales of information equipment were down 14.4 percent, with the company reporting sales of copiers/printers and facsimiles decreasing.

In electronic components, sales of LCDs were down 16 percent in yen from the previous year. But sales of large-sized LCDs for TVs, and small- and medium-sized LCDs, mainly for mobile phones, decreased due to “significant price declines,” Sharp said.

In forecasting for the new fiscal year, Sharp said there are “some favorable factors heading towards recovery” but that it expects the “business environment will remain unpredictable and uncertain for a while.”

Sharp will continue the “reorganization of LCD plans, personnel reallocation … and total cost reduction.” Sharp is forecasting a 3.4 percent sales drop to just more than $28 billion but net income of more than $30 million.