Japan's Sharp returns to full-year profit

Monday 12 May 2014 08.38
Sharp reported a 11.56 billion yen ($114m) net profit in the 12-month period
Sharp reported a 11.56 billion yen ($114m) net profit in the 12-month period

Struggling Japanese electronics maker Sharp said today it had swung back to profit for the full year to March after two years of huge losses, thanks to stronger sales and cost-cutting. 

The Osaka-based company booked a 11.56 billion yen ($114m) net profit in the 12-month period, reversing a huge net loss of 545.35 billion yen a year earlier. 

Sales jumped 18.1% to 2.93 trillion yen on brisk demand for panels, including its popular "IGZO" displays for smartphones.

At the operating level, it also achieved a profit of 108.56 billion yen, compared with an operating loss of 146.27 billion yen the previous year.

Sharp has been undergoing a huge restructuring process to pare losses largely tied to its ailing electronics business. But that business appeared to have turned a corner in the year to March, with sales surging 17.9% year-on-year to 1.32 trillion yen.

Sales in digital information appliances - including televisions and smartphones - were almost flat at 733 billion yen but sales of solar cells surged 68.9% to 439 billion yen, it said.  

"We have produced unique devices and products while we have strengthened sales activities" including 4K high-definition television sets, IGZO displays and solar batteries, Sharp said in a statement.

"In addition, we implemented comprehensive operational improvement measures such as cutting inventory and curbing investment," it added. 

For the current year to March 2015, it now forecasts 30 billion yen net profit and 100 billion yen operating profit on 3 trillion yen sales.

"We will make efforts to produce revolutionary products and solutions that will address the needs of our customers, seeking to move on to 'regrowth stage' from 'restructuring stage,'" the company said.