Sharp continues to earn healthy profits from LCD panels despite tough competition, according to the company's latest quarterly earnings report.
The Japanese firm manufactures consumer electronics products and appliances such as TVs and mobile phones, as well as basic components such as LCD screens, solar panels and logic chips.
Operating profits at the company's LCD panel division were up 28 per cent, while sales rose 34 per cent. Sharp is one of the world's three largest LCD TV vendors.
The strong performance of the LCD division helped drag up profits for the whole company by 3.8 per cent, with quarterly sales reaching $4.52bn.
Sharp's solar cell business, hit by a shortage of polysilicon last year, began to recover as raw material supply constraints eased. Sharp is the world's largest solar cell maker.
"We think the strong [quarterly] results indicate a recovery in earnings from LCD panels and solar cells, devices in which we think Sharp has a competitive advantage," said Nomura Securities analyst Eiichi Katayama in a briefing yesterday.
Sharp is preparing a major push into the international market for mobile phones. The company is already well represented in Japan's domestic market, but is weak internationally.
The firm also intends to strengthen international sales and marketing efforts for its flat-screen TVs.
"Making Sharp a global brand centred on finished products is an integral part of any growth strategy, but it seems that the company's priority is to focus on generating results from devices," said Katayama.
Sharp forecasts profits of $665m on total sales of $31.9bn for the Japanese financial year ending 31 March.
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