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Sharp Reports Wider Loss, To Cut 5K Jobs

Osaka, Japan – Sharp Electronics reported a wider net loss in its fiscal first quarter and announced a plan to lay off 5,000 employees by next spring.

Sharp reported a net loss of 138.4 billion yen ($1.8 billion) in its first quarter compared with the prior year’s 49.3 billion yen loss.

Net sales were 458.6 billion yen, 182 billion yen lower than last year’s fiscal first quarter.

Sharp said that it will cut 5,000 jobs worldwide by March 2013, reorganize its business groups, review operations at its Tochigi and Katsuragi plants, and “streamline” its headquarters in attempts to cut costs and return to profitability.

Among other efforts, Sharp is relying on to turn its fortunes around is running the Sakai Display Products Corporation with the Hon Hai Group, which made a 10 percent investment in Sharp this spring.

In addition Sharp said it is pushing ahead developing its own proprietary technologies including Plasmacluster Ion technology and devices such as Igzo LCDs “using new materials, allowing us to create new markets in such areas as medical care and education,” the company said.

As for the quarter’s performance by category, in its consumer/information products segment, sales were down 277 billion yen, or 36.8 percent.

In the segment’s operating groups, audio/visual and communications equipment sector sales were down 54.9 percent to 134.1 billion yen due to much lower LCD TV demand in Japan and a price drop, which offset higher sales overseas.

In its health and environmental equipment sector, sales were 78.2 billion yen, up 5.2 percent due to higher sales of air conditioners and washing machines.

Information equipment sector sales were 64.6 billion yen, down 2.3 percent from the prior year’s first quarter.