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Wednesday, 01 May 2013 10:49

Sharp regrets Apple dependence

Written by Nick Farrell



Eggs in one basket plan did not pay off

Sharp is really regretting its dependence on Apple as its main customer.

While it made sense at the time to be extremely pleased when Apple sucked up most of its capacity with screens for its iPhone and iPad, now the tide has turned the outfit is reporting a bigger than forecast loss. Sharp is now suffering from low output at its factories and forced to write off excess capacity. 

The company had a $5.1 billion net loss for the year which is much worse than it predicted. At the start of the year, Sharp was forced to curtail production of 9.7-inch screens for Apple's iPad. That has stepped up the urgency for Sharp to find new customers and uses for its leading-technology displays and may make it harder for the company to convince investors and lenders it remains a viable company.

Sharp will officially announce its results for latest business year on May 14. To make matters worse the company is also taking a charge to put aside cash for possible fines from a display price-fixing investigation in Europe, the sources said. Sharp in October received a $4.4 billion bailout from banks including Mizuho Financial Group and Mitsubishi Financial Group in return for mortgaging nearly all its factories and offices in Japan and pledging to cut 10,000 jobs.

Nick Farrell

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