Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp. said Thursday its profit dropped 35.3 percent in the six months to September, hit by sluggish domestic demand for mobile phone handsets and a strong yen.
Sharp's net profit fell to 28 billion yen ($284 million), with revenue down 4.8 percent year-on-year at 1.56 trillion yen ($15.8 billion) in the first half.
"Our profit tumbled sharply due to slumping sales of mobile phone handsets in Japan," said spokeswoman Miyuki Nakayama. The Osaka-based company did not disclose earnings for the July-September quarter.
Sharp sold 5.42 million units of mobile phone handsets worldwide during the six months, down 33 percent from a year earlier. The company expected to sell 11.7 million units of mobile phone handsets in the full fiscal year ending March 2009, down 23 percent year-on-year. While Sharp shipped mobile phone handsets to Asia, Europe and the United States, Nakayama said the bulk of such sales mostly comes from Japan.
"The Japanese mobile phone market is shrinking with slowing demand, and we were directly affected by this," Nakayama said.
Apart from sluggish mobile phone sales, Sharp said a strong yen pressured its sales. A strong yen cuts hurts Japanese exporters, like Sharp, by eroding their overseas earnings when converted back to yen.
Sharp said it incurred 63.5 billion yen ($643 million) in foreign exchange losses during the six months.
The company said global sales of liquid crystal display flat-panel TVs jumped 28 percent year-on-year to 4.78 million units during the period due to steady demand at home and abroad.
Sharp, a leading maker of flat-panel TVs, competes against Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea and Japanese electronics maker Panasonic Corp. for liquid crystal display technology.
Earlier in the month, Sharp downgraded its earning projection with net profit seen at 60 billion yen ($608 million), down 41 percent from the previous year, with sales at 3.42 trillion yen ($34.6 billion).
Shares in Sharp rose 3 percent to 712 yen. The company announced earnings after trading ended in Tokyo.
Source: AP News