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Sharp reverses annual profit forecast to US$256m loss on TV woes
[TOKYO] Japanese consumer electronics giant Sharp on Tuesday reversed its fiscal year profit forecast, warning that it would instead lose about US$256 million as its battered television business continues to bleed money.
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.
Osaka-based Sharp - which lost 7.2 billion yen in the nine months to December - had warned earlier that its full-year earnings would fall below previous forecasts owing to a "deterioration" in sales at home and fierce competition in the liquid crystal display business.
"We revised the previously announced forecast as we anticipate worsening profits," Sharp said in a statement on Tuesday. It also pointed to "greater-than-expected changes in (the) business environment, such as rapid fluctuations in exchange rates and a price decline in small- and medium-size LCD business".
Sharp, along with rivals Sony and Panasonic, has been undergoing a painful restructuring to move past years of losses that were largely tied to huge losses in its TV unit as lower-cost rivals overseas pose a heavy challenge.
However, a sharply weaker yen has partly offset the decline as it inflates the value of repatriated overseas income.
Panasonic, which has said it is expecting a 140 billion yen net profit in the current fiscal year, reports it nine-month results later Tuesday.
Sony will publish partial results on Wednesday. The company earlier announced it received permission to delay the release of its full quarterly earnings report, after a cyberattack damaged the computer network at its Hollywood film unit.
The firm said it was asking for the delay because Sony Pictures Entertainment would not have time to put together its financial statements after the attack, linked to its controversial North Korea satire "The Interview", which has been widely blamed on Pyongyang.