January 31, 2018 / 6:21 AM / 25 days ago

Japan's Sharp posts fifth straight quarterly profit as TVs fare well

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s Sharp Corp, an Apple Inc supplier, reported on Wednesday its fifth consecutive quarterly net profit, boosted by gains in sales of its televisions.

Sharp, which is controlled by Taiwan’s Foxconn, posted a net profit of 20.6 billion yen ($189.5 million) in October-December, nearly five times what it logged in the same period a year earlier and slightly beating the 19.14 billion yen average of estimates by five analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

The company maintained its full-year net profit forecast at 69 billion yen.

“Sales of TVs grew in China,” said Executive Vice President Katsuaki Nomura, adding that the company is continuing to make use of Foxconn’s sales network there.

While Sharp is faring well under Foxconn, the future is less certain. Domestic display makers such as Sharp and Japan Display Inc are struggling to respond to smartphone makers’ shift to organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens, letting South Korean rivals Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and LG Display Co Ltd take the lead.

OLED screens are generally thinner, more flexible, and richer in color than liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels, leading Apple to adopt them for its iPhone X.

Sharp will begin mass producing OLED panels, mainly for its own smartphone line-up, between April and June this year. Its chief executive, Tai Jeng-wu, has said he would like to join forces with Japan Display in OLED technology to better compete with South Korean rivals.

Reporting by Minami Funakoshi; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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