July 4, 2014 / 12:42 AM / 6 years ago

Sharp considering exiting European home appliance market - source

A pedestrian walks past a logo of Sharp Corp at a train station in Tokyo February 3, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

TOKYO (Reuters) - Sharp Corp is in talks over licensing Taiwanese and Turkish firms to make and sell its home appliances in Europe, a source with knowledge of the discussions said, as it tries to cut costs to counter stagnant sales on the continent.

The Japanese electronics maker is talking to Taiwanese firm TPV Technology Ltd over the rights to manufacture and sell its LCD TVs in Europe, the source said. The discussions have touched upon a sale of Sharp’s TV factory in Poland.

Sharp is also talking to Vestel Elektronik Sanayi ve Ticaret AS, a group company of Turkish electronics firm Vestel, about a licence to sell its white goods in Europe.

The source, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the discussions, said the talks were at an early stage and nothing had been decided.

In response to earlier media reports on the plan, Sharp said in a statement that it is considering various options to restructure its European business but that nothing had been decided.

Sharp has been cutting costs and pulling out of unprofitable operations after posting a massive 545.4 billion yen ($5.34 billion) net loss in the year to March 2013. Returns on its European TV business were listed as a major priority in its annual report for the year ended March 31.

Sharp has projected a rise in net profit to 30 billion yen in the year to next March from last year’s 11.6 billion yen.

Separately, Sharp is also considering selling its shares in the joint venture it set up with Italian utility Enel SpA to produce solar panels there.

($1 = 102.1400 Japanese Yen)

Reporting by Reiji Murai; Writing by Sophie Knight; Editing by Stephen Coates

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