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Business

Electronics firm Sharp nurtures doubts about its future

Japanese electronics giant Sharp has acknowledged it's not sure whether the company will survive in a continuously worsening economic environment. The company has once more projected record annual losses.

Japan's biggest maker of liquid crystal displays, Sharp, on Thursday predicted record annual net losses for the current fiscal year ending in March 2013. The electronics giant said losses would amount to 450 billion yen ($5.6 billion, 4.3 billion euros).

The Osaka-based company has long joined domestic rivals Sony and Panasonic in large-scale restructuring schemes to enhance the profitability of their company in a difficult market situation. Sharp will also lay off about 10,000 jobs in the months ahead.

"Our business environment continued to be severe," the firm said in a statement. "That's due to drastic price drops of products and devices and a production delay of new liquid crystal displays."

To be or not to be

Sharp has been unable to keep pace with competition from Apple in the US and Samsung of South Korea, which have been able to offset losses in some segments by booming smartphone sales.

Sharp said in a statement that the current situation was casting doubts on the firm's ability to ride out the storm and survive. The company also pointed to the difficulties stemming from Japan's current territorial dispute with China over an East China Sea island chain. It said the spat had led to a drastic drop in exports to China.

In addition, Japanese companies have been suffering from an unusually strong yen which has made their products much pricier overseas.

hg/hc (AFP, dpa)