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Sharp mulls mass layoffs amid $1.28bn loss fears

Price-fix settlement kicks LCD biz while it's down

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Sharp may consider laying off thousands of workers and flogging some of its Tokyo offices as losses swell.

The Japanese firm is likely to announce net losses of around ¥100bn ($1.28bn) in the second quarter as its settlement in the US LCD cartel case adds to its woes, spurring the firm to consider restructures, daily business newspaper Nikkei reports.

"We are considering various measures to tackle the difficult situation, and will disclose the details when it is finalized," Sharp said in a statement to Reuters.

The company's shares fell 5 per cent yesterday on the Nikkei report.

Sharp posted a record loss of ¥376bn ($4.8bn) for the last fiscal year in March, mainly on poor consumer demand for LCD TVs and panels. The firm is attempting to diversify its screen-making capabilities away from tellies and into smartphones and tablets to improve sales.

Sharp has also dumped chunks of its TV business, handing over 46.5 per cent of it to Foxconn owners Hon Hai Precision and more to Toppan Printing and Dai Nippon Printing. Hon Hai also spent ¥66.9bn on a 9.9 per cent stake in Sharp itself. ®

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