Ailing Sharp sacks chief, vows turnaround on robots, LCDs

The Japanese firm booked a record loss, but said it will rebound on products like ultra-high resolution notebook screens

Japan's Sharp booked another huge loss on Tuesday, and unveiled its latest turnaround plan, which includes relying on partnerships with Samsung Electronics and Foxconn Technology Group for business, sacking top management, and expanding into new fields such as robotics.

Osaka-based Sharp, one of the world's largest LCD screen makers but struggling under massive debt and unused capacity, said its losses for the year ended March 31 reached ¥545 billion (US$5.4 billion), the largest in the company's history. Sharp promised its ongoing restructuring, involving thousands of job cuts and factory closings, will finally bear fruit this year in the form of a modest ¥5 billion profit.

The company said it will rebuild its tattered finances on products like laptop screens with the industry's highest pixel density at up to 262 pixels per inch, which it is to mass produce from June. The company has already found a customer for the screens in Samsung, according to local media reports. In March, Sharp secured a US$110 million investment from Samsung and locked in the South Korean company as a long-term client.

Sharp said its turnaround will also include increasing income in its core LCD screen business to over US$1 trillion in the year through March 2016. The company owns some of the largest factories in the world but has struggled with price falls and generating enough business to operate its lines. A deal signed with Foxconn last year gave that firm half control of one of Sharp's main LCD factories in return for a cash infusion and a steady stream of business.

Sharp also said it will focus on new businesses such as robotics. The company has had some success with its "Cocorobo" line of autonomous vacuum cleaners, a talking, voice-controlled line that is similar to the popular Roomba from U.S. maker iRobot. It said part of that effort will include a new partnership with Japanese power tool maker Makita.

The company is facing an ongoing cash crunch, with its debt rated junk status and even its office buildings leveraged as collateral. But it said Tuesday it had secured new loans worth up to ¥150 billion from its lenders and would generate enough additional cash to stay afloat.

Sharp also said it would replace its president, Takashi Okuda, with current Executive Vice President Kozo Takahashi, who will assume his new post in June.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesfinancial resultssharprestructuringdisplaysComponents

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?