Business / Corporate

Sharp returns to black in April-December period for first time in four years

Kyodo

Sharp Corp. reported Wednesday a consolidated net profit of ¥55.38 billion ($509 million) for the nine months through December, its first black ink for the period in four years due to recovering sales and cost cutting.

In the latest evidence of a remarkable turnaround under parent company Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. of Taiwan, the Japanese electronics maker rebounded from a net loss of ¥41.16 billion in the previous year’s first three quarters.

Group operating profit jumped 3.7-fold year-on-year to ¥70.33 billion, as sales rose 22.7 percent to ¥1.83 trillion despite downward pressure on prices amid robust demand for large-screen televisions in China.

“We’re making use of Hon Hai’s extensive sales network, both online and brick-and-mortar,” Executive Vice President Katsuaki Nomura told a news conference in Tokyo.

Hon Hai, a major Apple Inc. supplier also known as Foxconn, acquired Sharp in August 2016 after the Japanese company fell into financial hardship.

Home appliances such as vacuum cleaners and washing machines also did well, though demand fell for small liquid crystal display panels used in smartphones as newer organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, technology was adopted in more models including Apple’s iPhone X.

Sharp retained its earnings forecast for the whole of fiscal 2017 ending March, staying on track to log its first annual net profit in four years.