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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Sharp shares soar after 5,000 job cuts report

AFP   May 10, 2013
First Published: 10:42 IST(10/5/2013) | Last Updated: 10:58 IST(11/5/2013)

Shares in struggling Japanese electronics maker Sharp jumped more than seven percent Friday after a report it will cut an extra 5,000 jobs.

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The issue was up 7.56 percent at 455 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in early trade following the report in the mass circulation Asahi Shimbun.

Sharp's three-year business plan, due to be announced next week, was likely to include a further slimming of the workforce, mainly outside of Japan, the paper said. The company has already cut thousands of jobs worldwide.

The electronics maker hopes costs savings like this will help it to achieve a net profit of 100 billion yen ($1 billion) and operating profit of 180 billion yen on sales of more than three trillion yen in the year ending March 2016, the report said.

The targets are around the same level as before the 2008 financial crisis, it said.

For the past year that ended March, Sharp is likely to have booked a net loss of roughly 500 billion yen and an operating loss of 155 billion yen on sales of 2.46 trillion yen, it said.

Sharp declined to comment on the report, saying "the report is not what we have announced. We plan to announce our mid-term business plan on May 14."

Sharp, like domestic rivals Sony and Panasonic, has been hammered by credit rating downgrades and record losses, which saw the century-old firm warn about its own survival last year.

The maker of Aquos-brand electronics has embarked on a painful restructuring including thousands of job cuts and slashed wages from the factory floor to the boardroom.

The cash-strapped company also said it would put up real estate as collateral for desperately needed bank loans.

Sharp said an earlier agreement with Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision about a crucial capital injection failed to meet the deadline in March, but Hon Hai later denied the deal was off, saying the pact between the two companies did not expire until March 2015.

Earlier in March, Sharp said rival Samsung would buy 10.4 billion yen of new shares, or a three-percent stake in the Japanese firm, making the smartphone and tablet maker its biggest foreign shareholder.

In December, Sharp said it had reached a 9.9 billion yen capital injection deal with Qualcomm.


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