Sharp Says it Won’t Exit Solar-Cell Business

Sharp solar panelMarch 9, 2015 – Sharp Corporation of Japan issued a press release stating that, despite media reports, it won’t be exiting its solar-cell business.

As we reported last week, according to The Wall Street Journal, Sharp President Kozo Takahashi is reportedly seeking additional financial support from its two main lenders, less than three years after its last bailout.

Takahashi will present a turnaround plan to its lenders, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group. These two lenders together hold more than ¥400 billion ($3.3 billion U.S.) in Sharp debt. According the The Wall Street Journal, the plan reportedly involved Sharp leaving businesses such as solar panels – however, this doesn’t appear to be the case.

While Sharp has made some financial gains in the last several years, on February 3, 2015, the firm reported a 7.2 billion yen loss for its nine months ending December 31, 2014. It’s now also forecasting a 30 billion yen net loss for its full fiscal year ending in March 2015, whereas previously it had forecast a small profit. Sharp said the net loss was due to recording taxes deferred from a prior period, as well as lower sales of LCD TVs, which were down 4.4 percent, and lower sales of Energy Solutions, which were down 29.0 percent, both versus the same period a year prior.

Sharp’s financial troubles have largely been from its LCD-displays business – LCD displays that are typically used in TVs, smartphones, and tablets – while it’s printer/MFP/copier business has generally remained profitable over the last several years.

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