Japan's Sharp Forecasts Return to Profit in 2014

Sharp's LED television sets.
Getty Images
Sharp's LED television sets.

Sharp said it expects to rebound to an operating profit in the year to March 31 as it battles to remain viable after averting failure last year through a bailout by its banks.

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In the current financial year, Sharp expects an operating profit of 80 billion yen ($786 million), compared with a loss of 146.27 billion yen in the latest year to March 31. The forecast compared with the average 52.9 billion yen profit estimate from 13 analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Sharp is due to release a three-year rehabilitation plan later on Tuesday as it moves to secure its survival.

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In October, the company was rescued by almost $4 billion of emergency loans from lenders including Mizuho Financial Group and Mitsubishi Financial Group. To obtain the financial help, the firm had to mortgage its offices and factories in Japan, including one that makes screens for Apple iPad and latest iPhone.

It also had to agree to trim its workforce by 10,000 people and seek buyers for overseas assets including TV assembly plants in China, Malaysia Poland and Mexico.

Sharp also said on Tuesday it will promote Kozo Takahashi, executive vice president in charge of products, to president.

Takahashi will replace Takashi Okuda, who will take up the chairman's post after only a year on the job. Takahashi's appointment will become effective following approval by shareholders at a meeting on June 25.

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A 33-year veteran at the Japanese television maker, Takahashi became vice president last year after serving as the head of Sharp's operations in North America.

Current chairman Mikio Katayama, under whose leadership Japan's liquid crystal displays pioneer almost failed under a burden of debt and shrinking sales, will step aside.