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Sharp is trying to restructure its unprofitable liquid-crystal-display business before deadlines to repay debt this year.Photo: EPA

Sharp up on news 5,000 more staff to go

Japanese electronics maker's shares rise after report of board revamp and increased job cuts


Sharp shares rose to their highest level in a year in Tokyo trading yesterday, after reports it will extend job cuts by 5,000 and reshuffle management as the unprofitable electronics maker seeks to end losses.

The shares jumped 6.4 per cent to 450 yen, at the close of trade, the highest level since May 1 last year. The stock has risen by 40 per cent over the past five trading days.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 Index climbed 2.9 per cent yesterday as a weaker yen boosted the outlook for exporters.

Sharp's job reductions will include workers at its headquarters and television plants in China and Malaysia as the company reduces its workforce to about 46,000 in fiscal 2015, the newspaper reported yesterday, without saying where it got the information.

The manufacturer is targeting sales of three trillion yen (HK$234.8 billion) and operating profit of 180 billion yen for that year, the report said.

Osaka-based Sharp is set to announce its revival plan on May 14 as the company tries to restructure its unprofitable liquid- crystal-display business before deadlines to repay debt this year.

The company, which has sold stakes to Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm, has 360 billion yen of loans due on June 30 and 200 billion yen of convertible bonds that mature later this year.

"The market for its products such as LCD TVs is tough," said Koki Shiraishi, an analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities. "It is hard to justify the stock price … from the fundamentals."

Most of the company's board will be replaced and chairman Mikio Katayama will resign, the newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information.

The company is not the source of the reports on mid-term plans and management changes, Sharp said in a statement yesterday.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Sharp up on news 5,000 more staff to go