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Sharp to slice 11,000 job in bid to slash losses

Pay cuts for those who stay, plus trimmed bonuses

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Struggling Japanese electronics giant Sharp is set to cut nearly 11,000 jobs, double that originally feared, as well as offload some overseas factories and reduce wages in a desperate bid to haul itself out of the red by next April.

Japanese news wire Kyodo claims to have seen the Osaka-based consumer electronics firm’s restructuring plan, which forecasts the job cuts and sale of assets will give it ¥213bn (£1.69bn) to play with.

The company's plan is to slash 19 per cent of its workforce of 57,170 by the end of March 2014. 3,100 of those redundancies will come from within Japan, many as a result of staff taking voluntary retirement or reaching compulsory retirement age.

Others will go in Mexico, China and Malaysia where the firm plans to sell its TV production plants, the report said.

Wages will be cut and bonuses will apparently be halved from October this year to September next, saving a further ¥50bn (£397m).

President Takashi Okuda is heading an emergency management committee tasked with the uphill job of getting the business into the black to the tune of ¥14.6bn (£115.9m) as of next April, the report said.

Further revenue will be generated by selling US solar power firm Recurrent Energy, as well as offloading its shares in Toshiba and a building in downtown Shinjuku, Tokyo.

There was no news at the time of writing from Sharp as to possible UK job losses.

Things have been going from bad to worse for the firm in its centenary year since it announced losses for the period April-June of ¥138.4 billion (£1.1bn) and predicted further losses of ¥250bn (£2.1bn) for the year ending March 2013.

Since then it has tried, and apparently failed, to get Taiwanese ODM giant Foxconn to help out by taking a stake in the company, and mortgaged “almost all the business sites owned by Sharp in Japan” including its HQ.

Time will tell whether such drastic measures will work, but the company that emerges from this mess, if it does, will look a lot different from the one that entered it.

Part of the plan is also to consolidate its home appliance, system, office equipment and solar battery sales companies into one firm, split into three groups - for consumers, businesses, and solar, according to Kyodo. ®

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