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Japan-Update

Japan Display looks to trim restructuring costs

But LCD producer appears headed for fourth straight annual net loss

LCD maker Japan Display expects to save on restructuring costs.

TOKYO -- Troubled LCD maker Japan Display may shave some of its massive restructuring costs expected for fiscal 2017, but analysts predict a deeper net loss for the company than in the prior year.

Japan Display in August projected incurring an extraordinary loss of 170 billion yen ($1.59 billion at current rates) for restructuring expenses during the year ending March 31. But Chief Financial Officer Takanobu Oshima says this spending may be 10 billion yen to 20 billion yen lower as the company benefits from its previous cost reductions in the panel business.

As the company's cash flow position improves, impairment losses on facilities are expected to shrink. Though Japan Display looks to re-examine foreign operations including China, Oshima said spending that accompanies an outflow of cash will decrease due to such measures as early retirement programs.

Yet Japan Display remains likely to sustain a net loss for the fourth straight fiscal year. The company has struggled to boost sales of liquid crystal display panels for smartphones to Apple, which is moving to adopt organic light-emitting diode panels. The Japanese company has not released annual earnings guidance, but the QUICK Consensus survey of analyst forecasts estimates the loss at 230 billion yen -- worse than the 31.6 billion yen loss the year before.

Regarding the company's search for a rehabilitation sponsor, Oshima said only that negotiations continue.

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