Sharp mulling around 3,000 job cuts: sources

Reduction, mainly in Japan, reportedly to come through early retirements and natural attrition

Kyodo

Sharp Corp. is considering chopping some 3,000 jobs, or 15 percent of its parent-basis workforce, through early retirements and natural reductions mainly in Japan to turn its deteriorating business around, sources said Thursday.

The Osaka-based consumer electronics maker has been forced to substantially slash personnel, a move it has been avoiding, as it is expected to report a group net loss of around ¥100 billion for the April-June quarter due to its deteriorating liquid crystal panel business, other sources said earlier.

With a workforce of about 21,000 as of the end of May on a parent-only basis, Sharp’s management is expected to start talks soon with its labor union on the planned job cuts, with an eye to soliciting early retirements at various places, including the head office, factories and the sales division.

To alleviate the adverse impact on its financial standing, the company plans to take a certain period of time, maybe around two years, to implement the plan, in addition to natural reductions, according to the sources.

The company is also considering reducing jobs overseas, the sources added.

The hefty quarterly loss is likely to have stemmed from Sharp’s slumping LCD panel business as well as the payment of about $198 million, or about ¥15.5 billion, to settle a lawsuit in the United States filed by Dell Inc. and two other companies over alleged price-fixing involving LCD panels.

The company plans to announce its earnings for the first three months of the current fiscal year on Aug. 2.

After posting its biggest-ever group net loss of ¥376 billion last year, Sharp currently expects a group net loss of ¥30 billion for this year. But the company could lower its earnings forecast due to costs for restructuring.