Sharp SOS as loss forecast doubles


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The Independent Online

The struggling TV maker Sharp warned it might not be able to survive on its own, as it almost doubled its full-year net loss forecast to $5.6bn (£3.4bn) yesterday, and said it was considering alliances with other companies.

The Japanese company said it booked massive second-quarter losses and is seeing "serious negative operating cash flow".

"This raises serious doubts about [our ability] to continue as a going concern," the company said, adding it was taking steps, from pay cuts and asset sales to voluntary redundancies, to generate cash flow.

Sharp has been in talks for months with Hon Hai Precision about the Taiwan-based group becoming its biggest shareholder.

Sharp said yesterday it expected an agreement on that before a March deadline, but added it was considering other alliances as well.

Its bigger Japanese rival Sony, meanwhile, made a small operating profit in July-September, helped by the sale of a non-core chemicals business, although it also cut forecasts for sales of its TVs, compact cameras and some games consoles.

The grim tale from the Japanese brands that led a consumer electronics boom from the Seventies came a day after Panasonic said it will lose almost $10bn this year as it writes down goodwill and assets.