• Kyodo

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Japan Display Inc. said Wednesday it will cut more than 4,700 jobs, or 30 percent of its total workforce, as it logged a bigger group net loss in the first half through September.

The maker of liquid crystal display panels for smartphones and tablet computers posted a group net loss of ¥16.7 billion ($161 million) in the six-month period due to the yen’s appreciation and a decline in overseas demand for smartphones.

The company logged a group net loss of ¥323 million in the same period last year.

Of the total workforce reduction, Japan Display will eliminate 636 jobs at home through an early retirement program and 4,100 jobs abroad by the end of the current fiscal year.

The company also plans to streamline operations in Taiwan to slash costs.

The display maker posted a group operating loss of ¥2.18 billion in the April-September period, compared with a profit of ¥10.58 billion a year earlier. Sales dropped 27.0 percent to ¥370.98 billion from the year before.

As part of efforts to bolster the company’s financial standing, the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, a state-backed corporate turnaround fund and its top shareholder, is considering providing subordinated loans of up to ¥50 billion.

Japan Display Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mitsuru Homma declined comment on when the fund is likely to offer the financial assistance, saying the company is still drawing up a medium-term business plan.

In the nine months to December, the company expects to return to profitability with a group operating profit of ¥7.82 billion, as it sees a sharp recovery in demand for display panels from smartphone makers in China.

Sales are projected to fall 21.8 percent to ¥635.98 billion in the nine-month period.

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