Sharp’s solar losses buck profitability trend in 2016

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“Except for the solar business, all of our operations are profitable,” said Sharp’s executive VP Katsuaki Nomura following the publication of the Japanese electronic giant’s full-year financials this week. “Decision making has sped up under new management and so has the pace of balance sheet improvement.”

Given the general uncertainty surrounding Sharp’s very involvement in the solar industry in recent years, that the firm posted a loss in its solar division should come as no surprise.

Acquired by Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group in August, Sharp has enjoyed a tripling of its share value since then, and has managed to reduce its 2016 FY losses to 37.2 billion yen ($329 million), down from a projected loss of 53 billion yen.

But while the company’s display business has improved, its energy solutions division posted a -7.9% contraction in operating income in the third quarter of 2016, while over the course of the 2016 FY (which runs April to April) income is negative 12.7%, making it the only division in the red across the company.

To return to growth, Sharp will seek to invest aggressively in technology, strengthen the global brand and accelerate new businesses, the company said in its financial report.