• Kyodo

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Sharp Corp. said Thursday its net profit in the April-September period surged 78.9% from a year earlier to ¥42.52 billion ($372 million), helped by rising sales of office devices and increased profitability in its display business.

Sales in the first half of fiscal 2021 through next March rose 6.5% to ¥1.22 trillion, while operating profit advanced 31.6% to ¥39.02 billion, according to Sharp, a unit of Apple Inc.’s key supplier Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.

In the hope of driving growth, the Osaka-based company is looking to re-enter the U.S. television market next spring, five years after withdrawing due to poor performance.

“We want to regain our reputation as a ‘premium brand’ by providing high quality, high resolution products,” Sharp President Katsuaki Nomura said at a news briefing.

The company reported growth in its smart office technology business, which includes interactive smartboards, as more people are expected to return to offices as coronavirus infections decline.

Although sales of displays for personal computers and tablet devices continued to increase, Sharp said it was affected by a slide in demand for smartphone displays due to a global semiconductor shortage.

Sharp maintained its full-year earnings forecast because of uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing supply chain issues. It is expecting a net profit of ¥76 billion, up 42.7% from the previous year.

It also kept its operating profit forecast at ¥101 billion, up 21.5%, on sales of ¥2.55 trillion, up 5.1%.

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