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Sharp Corp. on Wednesday reported record first-half earnings, citing strong demand for liquid crystal display TVs and camera-equipped mobile phone handsets.

The Osaka-based consumer electronics company said its net profit during the April-September period rose 22.1 percent to 27.95 billion yen, while revenue shot up 12.6 percent to 1.09 trillion yen.

Brisk demand for the firm’s LCD TVs continued to drive this growth, with shipments increasing 67 percent on a year-on-year basis to 600,000 sets during the six-month period.

Company officials said demand for large LCD TVs expanded, prompting the firm to upgrade its estimate for worldwide LCD TV demand in fiscal 2005 from 8 million units to 12 million.

The popularity of camera-equipped phones in Europe and Japan drove up sales of mobile handsets. Some 4.39 million were sold in the period, representing a year-on-year increase of 44 percent.

The electronics components business was also strong, powered by brisk sales of charged-couple devices and so-called CMOS imagers, both used with mobile handsets and digital still cameras.

The company upgraded its full-year earnings forecast, raising its net profit estimate by 7 billion yen to 57 billion yen, on revenue of 2.25 trillion yen, up 100 billion yen.

To maintain a competitive edge over its rivals in the LCD business, the company will boost capital expenditure to 220 billion yen in the current fiscal year, after initially budgeting 178 billion yen.

Part of this amount will be spent on building a second system-LCD production line at the firm’s Mie plant.

Necessitating a capital investment of 42 billion yen, the line will be fully operational in March, nearly doubling monthly production to 12.2 million units.

Sanyo profit surges Sanyo Electric Co. said Wednesday its net profit for the April-September period surged more than threefold from a year earlier, hitting 7.52 billion yen.

The company attributed the rise to strong sales of digital cameras and rechargeable batteries.

Pretax profit jumped 153.5 percent to 21.54 billion yen, while operating profit rose 35.3 percent to 45.46 billion yen.

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