Sharp: Q3 profit better than expected

Struggling Japanese electronics company reports a better-than-expected operating profit for October-December, a move it hopes will help it secure fresh financing to stay viable.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

Ailing Japanese electronics giant Sharp said it had a better-than-expected operating profit for the period of October to December last year.

Speaking to reporters in Osaka, Japan, Sharp president Takashi Okuda said its third quarter operating profit was bigger than planned thanks mostly to higher revenue from large household appliances and a slight pickup in LCD (liquid crystal display) TV sales, Reuters reported Monday.

Sharp had posted an operating loss of 24.5 billion yen (US$278 million) in the October-December period in 2011, the report added.

Sharp is in need of fresh financing. It projected an operating profit in the October-March second half of its business year, which will unlock additional funds from banks, after the company won a US$4.4 billion bailout from its lenders in October, Reuters said.

Okuda also said talks with its Taiwanese partner, Hon Hai Precision Industry--also known as Foxconn--were still ongoing.

Sharp agreed to have Foxconn become its largest shareholder in exchange for much-needed capital injection last March, but the deal has since met with several bumps, including Sharp's declining share price and restructuring plans. Foxconn, meanwhile, has said it expected a say in Sharp's management in return for its investment.

Just last month, Sharp received a US$120 million investment from U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm to jointly develop display panels with Qualcomm subsidiary, Pixtronix. As part of the agreement, Sharp will issue new shares to Qualcomm.

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