• Reuters, Kyodo

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Sharp Corp. reported net profit for the fourth consecutive quarter on Friday and lifted its annual forecast, as efforts to rebuild the firm’s lost presence in the global electronics market begin to pay off.

“Sales of TVs were very strong in China,” Executive Vice President Katsuaki Nomura told an earnings briefing. “Demand was also solid for displays for smartphones and tablets.”

Sharp, a supplier to Apple Inc., posted a net profit of ¥20.2 billion ($177 million) in the three months through September, reversing a year-earlier loss of ¥17.9 billion.

The result compared with the ¥14.62 billion average of five analyst estimates in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Sharp lifted its profit forecast for the year through March to ¥69 billion from an initially estimated ¥59 billion.

If achieved, that would be its first annual profit in four years. It posted a loss of ¥24.9 billion a year prior.

Sharp, once the dominant leader in liquid crystal display panels, fell into a crisis amid price competition with Asian rivals,

It was eventually acquired by Taiwanese Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which assembles Apple’s iPhones and is also known by its trade name Foxconn in August 2016.

Hon Hai bought the Japanese firm in a bid to strengthen its foothold in LCDs and internet-of-things products.

Under Foxconn, Sharp has been on a recovery track with a cost-cutting drive.

It is now hoping to regain the technological edge in ultra-high resolution television sets, smart housing devices and advanced displays for medical equipment and security systems.

The company in June applied for relisting on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

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