Sharp Energy Business Posts Loss as Sales Outside Japan Drop

(Bloomberg) — Sharp Corp.’s energy business swung to a

loss and sales plunged for the year ended March 31 as revenue

from projects outside Japan declined.

The operating loss of 3.9 billion yen ($33 million) at the

electronics maker’s energy solutions unit compares with profit

of 32.4 billion yen a year earlier, according to an earnings

statement released by the Osaka-based company Thursday. Sales

fell 38 percent to 270.8 billion yen from 439 billion yen.

The drop in sales at the energy unit, previously known as

the solar cells product group, was the biggest of any product

group at Sharp for the fiscal year.

A difference of 54.7 billion yen was recognized between the

contracted purchasing price and current market price of

polysilicon for solar panels, the company said in a statement.

In the fourth quarter, sales at the unit totaled 74.2

billion yen and the operating loss was 2 billion yen.

Sharp has been undertaking a reorganization of its solar

business. In February, it announced it will sell U.S. unit

Recurrent Energy LLC to Canadian Solar Inc.

Profit Forecasts

Earlier, Sharp stopped making solar panels at plants in the

U.S. and the U.K. Sharp also pulled out of its Italian solar

venture, the company’s last panel-making plant overseas.

For the year, Sharp saw an impairment loss of 104 billion

yen on a solar cell plant in Sakai and on liquid-crystal display

plants, restructuring charges in Europe and elsewhere of 21.2

billion yen and a settlement of 14.3 billion yen on its solar

cell business in Europe, the company said.

Sharp is projecting a profit of 5 billion yen for its

energy solution unit for the year ending March 2016, President

Kozo Takahashi said at a press conference. The company is aiming

for 8 billion yen in profit for the year ending March 2018, he

said.

“There is big potential for energy-related businesses

while demand for industry-use solar in Japan is slowing down,”

Takahashi said, adding that the company wants to expand solution

businesses such as combining solar panels, storage batteries and

energy management in Japan.

Sharp has been developing solar panels since 1959.

To contact the reporter on this story:

Chisaki Watanabe in Tokyo at

cwatanabe5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:

Reed Landberg at

landberg@bloomberg.net

Iain Wilson, Jason Rogers

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