Osaka, Japan — Sharp reported a small drop in operating profit and a strong increase in sales for its fiscal year, ended March 31, due mostly to the volatile LCD market.
Operating profit for the year was down 1.5 percent to $1.8 billion for the year with sales up 9.3 percent to $32.9 billion.
Sharp reported pressure on its performance during the year due to the U.S subprime mortgage loan problem, changing exchange rates and “soaring prices for materials such as crude oil.”
In its consumer/information products segment, sales of audio/video and communications equipment rose 15.7 percent to $15.4 billion, with sales of LCD TVs and mobile phones driving the increase. In electronic components Sharp reported that during the year sales of LCD panels were up 8.7 percent to $6.59 billion, due to “solid growth in sales of large-size TV panels” last year, the company said. And in home appliances sales were up 4.5 percent to $2.4 billion due to “brisk sales” of refrigerators and air conditioners.
Sharp emphasized its improved global production system in LCD TVs during the fiscal year, with new plants in Mexico and Poland, the installation of a third production line for large-sized LCD panels at the Kameyama No. 2 plant and the beginning of construction of a new LCD panel plant in Sakai City in Osaka prefecture.
For the coming year Sharp expects the current economic climate to “remain severe” while the electronics industry will face competition that “is expected to get fiercer growth areas.” As part of its overall strategy, Sharp will continue to push its “one-of-a-kind” product strategy to “improve profitability and enhance corporate value” across the board, with an emphasis on LCD.
In the report no mention was made of Sharp’s investment in Pioneer Electronics, which was announced last year.