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Sharp Expects Loss as TV, Smartphone Businesses Slump

Feb. 3, 2015
Sharp -- a key Apple supplier that is a leader in screens for smartphones and tablets -- also pointed to weakness in its energy unit, where sales tumbled because of slumping demand for solar cells.

TOKYO - Japanese consumer electronics giant Sharp on Tuesday reversed its fiscal year profit forecast, warning that it would instead lose about $256 million, as a slump in its television and smartphone screens businesses dented growth.

The maker of Aquos brand electronics said it now expects to book a 30 billion yen shortfall in the year to March, after earlier predicting a profit of the same amount, while sales would come in at 2.9 trillion yen.

Osaka-based Sharp -- which lost 7.2 billion yen in the nine months to December -- had warned earlier that its full-year earnings would miss previous forecasts owing to a "deterioration" in sales at home and fierce competition in the liquid crystal display business.

"It's wrestling with severe price competition from Chinese and South Korean competitors so it has to cut costs even more to survive. The company is a still in a critical period."

By contrast, Panasonic said Tuesday it was still on track to book a 140 billion yen annual profit, as it moves away from the struggling television business.

Rival Sony -- which is expecting a huge 240 billion yen full-year loss -- is to publish partial results on Wednesday. The company earlier announced it would delay the release of its full quarterly earnings report after a cyberattack damaged the computer network at its Hollywood film unit.

The firm said its Sony Pictures Entertainment would not have time to put together financial statements after the attack, which was linked to its controversial North Korea satire "The Interview" and has been widely blamed on Pyongyang.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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