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Sharp expects first annual operating profit in 3 years

Sharp President Tai Jeng-wu speaks to reporters in Tokyo on Nov. 1.

TOKYO -- Sharp on Tuesday said it expects to log its first annual operating profit in three years, citing structural reforms and synergies following the buyout in August by Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn.

For the fiscal year ending next March, the Japanese electronics maker forecasts its operating profit will reach 25.7 billion yen ($245 million). Revenue is projected to hit 2 trillion yen, down 18.8% on the year. The company's net loss is expected to narrow to 41.8 billion yen, from the previous year's 255.9 billion yen.

Sharp, the first major Japanese electronics manufacturer acquired by a foreign company, recorded a 162 billion yen operating loss for last fiscal year. 

For the April-September half, Sharp posted a 45.4 billion yen net loss, down from the 83.6 billion yen loss booked for the same period last year.

Sharp President and CEO Tai Jeng-wu -- who is also the vice chairman of Hon Hai -- told a news conference in Tokyo that synergies with the Taiwanese company will add 9.9 billion yen to Sharp's operating profit for the second half of this fiscal year. He pointed to lower logistics costs as well as structural reform measures. 

Tai, who took the helm at Sharp in August, said he will "resign as a board member at Foxconn around this month or next month." This, he explained, would secure Sharp's independence and transparency, paving the way for its return to the Tokyo Stock Exchange's main board as early as 2018.

He also said the company aims to announce a midterm management plan "around April next year."

"It is not possible to announce the midterm management plan just two and a half months since my appointment," Tai said. "I would like to announce the plan once the consolidation [between Sharp and Hon Hai] has become much firmer."

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