The planned turnaround at Sharp following last year’s record $4.7 billion loss is taking a nosedive. The company is announcing a first quarter operating loss of ¥138.4 billion (about $1.76 billion) — nearly triple 2011’s first quarter loss of ¥49.3 billion (about $628 million), thanks in part to a 28 percent year-over-year drop in sales. The bad news culminated in today's announcement of 5,000 job cuts by March of next year; the company's first since 1950. Sharp plans to accomplish the cuts using voluntary retirements and "natural attrition," reports the AFP. Management will be taking deeper pay cuts as well, ranging from 20 to 50 percent.
The loss had a huge effect on Sharp’s forecast for the fiscal year, which swelled from a ¥30 billion loss (about $382 million) to a ¥250 billion one (about $3.18 billion) for the year ending March, 2013. Sharp also took a big hit with a settlement package for its role in an LCD price fixing scandal — a nearly $200 million expense. A tough business environment including the increasing risk of a European financial crisis, slowing growth in China and elsewhere, and ¥14.3 billion in restructuring charges (about $182 million) made matters worse.
Sharp's restructuring involves shifting production toward bigger LCD panels and its proprietary IGZO transistor technology. It also announced plans to establish a regional headquarters in Europe in order to better address the local market and speed up decision making; the combination of which lead to a ¥2.2 billion (about $28 million). At a press conference, Sharp's general manager in charge of finance, Tetsuo Onishi, said the company plans to improve profits by accelerating its LCD collaboration with Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision, better known as Foxconn, reports Nikkei.