Sharp Corp. posted its first net profit in three years in fiscal 2013, earning ¥11.5 billion after losing a staggering ¥545.3 billion in fiscal 2012, the electronics maker said Monday.

Sales jumped to ¥2.9 trillion, up 18.1 percent from the previous year, while operating profit jumped to ¥108.5 billion, up from a loss of ¥146.2 billion.

“We managed to secure a net profit for fiscal 2013. We will strive to strengthen the earning power of each business,” Executive Vice President Tetsuo Onishi said at a news conference in Tokyo.

Factors contributing to the healthier earnings included rising demand in Japan for solar cells, steady sales of small and midsize LCD screens for smartphones and tablet computers, and streamlining efforts that cut costs.

Sales of solar cells jumped 68.9 percent to ¥439 billion, while those of panels for smartphones rose 17 percent to ¥991 billion.

Meanwhile, Sharp said it saved ¥146.3 billion through structural reforms, including downsizing.

The two previous years were bitter for Sharp, which logged a net loss of ¥376 billion in fiscal 2012 that was then topped by the ¥545.3 billion in red ink logged last year as it struggled to make money off its LCD, audiovisual and solar cell businesses while spending billions of yen on structural reform.

For fiscal 2014, the company is projecting ¥3 trillion in sales, a 2.5 percent increase from fiscal 2013. It expects to more than double net profit to ¥30 billion, while operating profit will drop by 7.9 percent to ¥10 billion.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.