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Sharp Reports Wider Fiscal Year Loss

Osaka, Japan — Sharp Electronics reported a wider loss on flat sales for its fiscal year, ended March 31 and has replaced its president.

The net loss was 545.3 billion yen for the year, compared with a net loss of 376 billion yen in the prior year. Operating loss was 146.7 billion yen compared with the prior year’s 37.5 billion yen loss. Net sales were up 0.9 percent to 2,478.5 billion yen for the year.

Sharp reported that while the U.S. economy was in a “moderate recovery phase,” the European financial crisis and a slowdown in China hurt business. Losses were due to a decreased gross margin rate, additional inventory reduction and a write-down of non-current assets, among other factors, the company said.

As a result executive VP and chief officer of the products business group, Kozo Takahashi, will replace current president Takashi Okuda, who will become chairman. The changes will occur after Sharp’s shareholders meeting June 25.

In its consumer/information products group, sales of A/V and communications equipment for the year were 732 billion yen, down 31 percent. Sales of LCD TVs “fell drastically below last year,” the company said, due to sluggish demand in Japan, and a sales decline in China because of worsening Japan-China relations.

Sharp is forecasting a net sales increase of 8.9 percent for the year ending March 31, 2014, and a return to profitability: 80 billion yen in operating profits and 5 billion yen in net income.