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Japan Display Inc. President Minoru Kikuoka said Wednesday the struggling display maker aims to boost profitability with its new image sensor products.

In an online interview with Kyodo News, Kikuoka underlined that his company is trying to enter the medical and security markets with 15-micrometer bendable sensors developed with the University of Tokyo that can detect biometric information such as fingerprints and pulse waves.

"We would like to foster our sensor products as a key pillar of our business that currently relies on the smartphone and the auto market," said Kikuoka. The company plans to introduce its image sensor products to the market in a few years, he added.

As for the earnings outlook in the current business year through March 2021, Kikuoka stopped short of saying the smartphone display supplier to Apple Inc. will swing back into the black ink, citing the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The panel manufacturer incurred a group net loss for five straight years through March 2019, hit by falling demand from Apple.

The ailing manufacturer logged a group net loss of ¥ 110.89 billion ($1 billion) for the nine months ended Dec. 31 due to weak sales and huge restructuring costs.

The company is scheduled to report in late June its earnings results for the year ended March 31, with the release postponed from May 15 due to delayed book-closing procedures caused by the global spread of COVID-19.

"We are now financially stable with ambition to be profitable, but there remain risk factors amid the virus pandemic," Kikuoka said.

In March, Japan Display received a capital injection of ¥ 50.4 billion from Japanese private fund Ichigo Asset Management Ltd., while the state-back fund INCJ Ltd. swapped its loans worth ¥102 billion for preferred shares to improve its balance sheet.

Japan Display was established in 2012 through the merger of the display operations of Sony Corp., Hitachi Ltd. and Toshiba Corp. with support from INCJ.

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