Sharp sets ¥80 billion goal for new businesses

Kyodo

Struggling consumer electronics maker Sharp Corp. plans to generate ¥80 billion in revenue in fiscal 2015 by starting new businesses in a range of areas including health care and robotics through tie-ups with other companies, a company official said Monday.

The company’s consolidated sales will top the ¥3 trillion target it set for fiscal 2015, the final year of its midterm business management plan announced in May.

In May, Sharp established a new business task force comprising 200 employees after taking huge losses for two years in a row when sales of its mainline liquid crystal panels sputtered.

Executive Vice President Shigeaki Mizushima told reporters at the company’s Tenri factory in Nara Prefecture, “We will actively expand tie-ups and collaboration with other entities.”

He said Sharp will consider collaborating with housing companies and automakers and perhaps outsource production and issue licenses to other companies interested in using its patents.

In health care, Sharp is looking to develop X-ray devices that can use its new power-saving, crisp resolution Igzo LCD panel.

The company’s ideas for robot businesses include automated cleaning robots for businesses and devices to help elderly people walk.