Foxconn commits to sustaining Sharp’s solar business

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Almost immediately following the news in late March that Taiwan’s Foxconn would buy Sharp, the speculation began that the contract manufacturer would close the company’s troubled solar and energy storage business.

Today Foxconn shot down those rumors in a letter signed by Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou and Executive VP J.W. Tai, in which the company pledges to both leverage existing Foxconn capabilities and make further investments in Sharp’s Energy Solution Business.

“We want to let you know that we are totally committed to this business,” stated the letter. “We will not only continue to provide the promised after-sales services as in the past, but we will also look forward to servicing you with new and innovative solutions and services in the years to come.”

The company also notes that it does not want to “sugarcoat” the challenges ahead of it. “We are determined to turnaround Sharp by investing actively and boldly in the future by making difficult decisions and doing everything possible to make the company a world class leader again,” reads the letter.

Sharp’s Energy Solutions business sales declined 42% during its latest fiscal year, which ended on March 31, with the segment reporting a loss of US$167 million. While all large Japanese PV makers have been reporting sales declines based on flagging domestic demand, this is much steeper than those reported by Kyocera and Panasonic.

In its annual report, Sharp cited the fall in Energy Solutions as a factor in an 12% fall in overall company sales during the year.