By Claire Reilly

Sharp Corporation, the global parent company of Australia’s local subsidiary, has released the financial results for the first quarter of its 2012 fiscal year, reporting a 28 per cent decline in net sales, year on year.

For the three months ended 30 June 2012, the company had net sales of 458.6 billion yen, down from the previous year’s figure of 640.3 billion yen. Year on year, the company’s gross profits fell from 114 billion yen in 2011 down to just 5.7 billion yen in 2012.

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According to the company, sales of audio visual and communication equipment in its Consumer/Information Products sector were down 54.9 per cent for the period.

“Sales of LCD TVs fell drastically below the same period of the previous year,” the company report read. “This was due mainly to decreased demand in Japan and a price drop, which was slightly offset by healthy sales volume overseas, especially in ASEAN and other emerging countries.

Sales in the company’s Healthy and Environmental Equipment category were up 5. 2 per cent “due mainly to sales increases in air conditioners and washing machines,” while sales in Information Equipment were down 2.3 per cent. Overall, the Consumer/Information Products sector was down 36.8 per cent.

In the company’s Electronic Components division (encompassing LCDs, Solar Cells and Other Electronic Devices), sales were down 10. 2 per cent.

Providing background to the Q1 2012 results, the company said the Japanese economy had been facing “extremely severe” overall conditions during the 3 month period, and that overseas economies were slow.

“Amid these circumstances, the Sharp Group instituted a new administration on April 1, 202, aimed at implementing measures to win in the global competition. Measures include enhancing the creation of one-of-a-kind devices and products, as well as changing its business model to strengthen cost competitiveness in the digital products field.

“However, a severe business environment has continued, including greater-than-expected demand decline in the Japanese and Chinese LCD TV markets, a production adjustment at large-size LCD plants that resulted from worsening supply/demand balance, and an ongoing price drop for products and devices.”

Following the release of the company's financial results, its share price on the Tokyo Stock Exchange fell to 187 yen, down from the yearly high of 690 yen on 4 January 2012.