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Sharp expects 50% profit jump as LCDs regain their edge

Foxconn-led reforms prepare company for offensive on smart appliances

Sharp shows off an 8K display at an electronics fair last September. Armed with such ultrahigh-resolution offerings and smart appliances, the company is finally going on the attack. (Photo by Jun Iiyama)

OSAKA -- Sharp's operating profit likely rose 50% to around 95 billion yen ($876 million) for the year ended March 31, beating its projection thanks to cost-cutting and solid sales of LCDs.

The Osaka-headquartered electronics company forecasts a 93 billion yen profit.

Sales apparently jumped 20% to about 2.5 trillion yen. The display business enjoyed strong sales in liquid crystal displays for tablet devices and in LCD televisions, while cordless vacuum cleaners and high-capacity refrigerators performed well in the home appliance segment.

Sharp returned to the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in December, following structural reforms and the adoption of new sales strategies under new leadership. President Tai Jeng-wu came over from Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry, or Foxconn, which acquired Sharp in 2016. With the groundwork now laid, Sharp has been pivoting from a defensive crouch to going on the offensive.

Sharp will aim to boost sales 16% to 2.89 trillion yen in the year ending March 2019, the second year of its medium-term management plan. It is banking on smart home appliances using "internet of things" technology, as well as on ultrahigh-definition 8K products.

Results for the just-ended fiscal year will come out Thursday.

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