Jobs under threat as Sharp mulls over cuts of 5,000

Japanese electronics maker Sharp is planning a worldwide job-cutting effort as profit margins slump.

Japanese electronics maker Sharp has seen a loss this quarter, and as a reactive measure plans to cut 5,000 jobs by March.

sharp job losses

The firm employs 57,000 people globally, approximately 5,000 of which are stationed in Europe.

High energy prices, the high value of the yen, a volatile economy across the globe and weakening consumer demand have all hit Sharp hard over the past year -- resulting in a posted quarterly net loss of 138.4 billion yen ($1.76 billion), in comparison with a loss of 49.3 billion yen ($629 million) last year.

The company, known for its television sets, liquid crystal displays and solar panel technology, has seen a downward spiral in profit margins as consumer demand remains limp. On Thursday, the company said that the job cuts of 5,000 would help save 100 billion yen ($1.3 billion) and help manage its unpleasant balance sheet.

The workforce reduction is the first since the 1950s for the struggling company. As the yen remains high, overseas profit has decreased, and low demand for products has forced Sharp to join the likes of Sony and Panasonic in planning job cuts.

Managing director in charge of accounting, Tetsuo Onishi, told reporters in Tokyo at a hearing:

"We want to recover earnings by undertaking unprecedented restructuring measures swiftly."

Sharp has adjusted its annual loss forecast to 250 billion yen ($3.2 billion) through March 2013. Annual sales are expected to reach 2.5 trillion yen ($31.8 billion), a further reduction from a previously predicted 2.7 trillion yen ($34.4 billion). Operating losses are expected to account for 100 billion yen ($1.28 billion). Sharp predicts that LCD operations will lose 105 billion yen this year ($1.39 billion).

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