Sharp seen headed for first net profit in 4 years
LCD sales growth, cost-cutting under Foxconn drive rebound
OSAKA -- Japanese technology group Sharp likely will achieve a net profit of around 40 billion yen ($359 million) in fiscal 2017 after three years in the red, the turnaround owing to efforts to raise sales and lower costs under its Taiwanese parent.
Sharp will issue earnings forecasts for the year ending in March 2018 when it presents a business plan for the next three years on May 26.
The company plans as soon as July to apply for a return to the Tokyo Stock Exchange's first section, a big step toward restoring Sharp as a leading name in Japan's electronics industry.
Sales could top 2.2 trillion yen this financial year, up at least 10% over fiscal 2016. China is expected to drive growth in demand for liquid crystal display televisions in Asia, and Sharp's expanded lineup of refrigerators, washing machines and other appliances should help lift sales.
The Japanese group also will roll out a new Aquos smartphone model equipped with a Sharp-made LCD screen and camera. Its solar power business is expected to benefit from a full-fledged push into overseas markets.
Streamlining under Taiwanese parent Hon Hai Precision Industry, the iPhone assembler known as Foxconn, has lowered Sharp's costs in Southeast Asia and elsewhere offshore. The cost cuts are seen contributing to an operating profit of around 90 billion yen, besting fiscal 2016's result by over 40%.
Sharp logged 34.6 billion yen worth of impairment losses in the LCD panel and solar power segments in the previous fiscal year. But as each of the group's seven core segments turned an operating profit for the second half ended in March, impairments are expected to be less of a factor this fiscal year.
The new three-year plan through fiscal 2019 is seen outlining growth strategies for ultrahigh-definition 8K televisions as well as businesses related to the "internet of things."