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Sharp doubles net loss to ¥424 billion

AFP-JIJI

Sharp Corp. said Friday that its loss in the nine months to December doubled to ¥424.35 billion as the embattled electronics giant struggles to repair its tattered balance sheet.

But the company offered a glimmer of hope, as it eked out a small operating profit in the third quarter and said it will keep its full-year net loss estimate unchanged at ¥450 billion.

In the nine-month period, Sharp’s operating loss reached ¥166.23 billion on sales of ¥1.78 trillion, down 6.4 percent from the year before. The firm reported a ¥2.6 billion operating profit, the income it makes from its core business, in the three months through December.

Like domestic rivals Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp., Sharp, the maker of Aquos-brand electronics, has been hammered by credit-rating downgrades and record losses that forced the century-old company to issue a warning about its survival last year.

In a bid to return to profitability, Sharp is undergoing a painful restructuring, including thousands of job cuts and slashed wages for employees — from the factory floor to the boardroom. It also said it would put up real estate as collateral for desperately needed bank loans, including its Osaka headquarters.