Sharp to step up LCD TV sales

Steve Dinneen
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JAPAN’S Sharp said brisk demand in Asia’s emerging economies will offset most of the impact on its business from Greece’s debt problems and the euro’s weakness.

Sharp, the world’s fourth biggest LCD TV maker behind Samsung, Sony and LG, said it planned to double the number of outlets in China that sell its Aquos TVs to 10,000 by December, seeing it as a market with strong growth potential.

Sharp President Mikio Katayama said: “I expect the business environment to remain very tough in the Eurozone. Fortunately, markets in China and Southeast Asian countries are rapidly growing. Any impact on our overall operations should be limited.”

Sharp expects operating profit to more than double to 120bn yen (£900m) in the year to March 2011 on strong sales of flat-screen TVs, LCD panels and solar panels.

Sharp has said it would set up a joint venture with Enel and STMicroelectronics to start making solar cells in Italy by early 2011.

It also said it would start another joint venture with Enel Green Power, an Enel group company, to build solar power plants with a total capacity of more than 500 megawatts by the end of 2016.

Sharp plans to double monthly processing capacity at its flagship LCD panel plant in Japan to 72,000 substrates by July to meet robust LCD TV demand, and plans 200bn yen in company-wide capital expenditure for the year to March 2011.

The amount, however, is dwarfed by spending plans by industry leader Samsung, which is doubling its projected capital spending for 2010 to a record 1.5 trillion yen, turning up the heat on its smaller rivals.