According to media reports, Japanese company Sharp Corp (TYO:6753) is preparing a solar come-back with plans to expand in Asia and to re-enter the solar market in Europe.
Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (TPE:2317), better known as Foxconn Technology Group, is currently in the process of buying a 66% stake in Sharp. At first it was expected that the solar panel business would be sold or streamlined, but it was later announced that the company and Foxconn will keep it.
The Nikkei cited Hiroshi Sasaoka, president of Sharp's Energy Solutions unit, as saying that it expects to return to the black in the current fiscal year, ending on March 31, 2017. He recently told The Nikkei that Sharp will be building megawatt-scale solar parks in Mongolia, the Philippines and Indonesia with local partners. Also, it is mulling the launch of photovoltaic (PV) panels sales in Taiwan, with test sales planned for this fiscal year.
Kyoto said on Tuesday, citing knowledgeable sources, that Sharp is also planning to use Foxconn’s sales network in Europe. It will release its Blacksolar panels in Europe “as early as year-end”, the report says. These are assembled in Osaka, but the company is said to be looking for manufacturing partners in Europe too.
Japanese firm's solar arm recorded an operating loss of JPY 5 billion (USD 49m/EUR 44m) in October-December 2015, expanding from a deficit of JPY 1.6 billion a year back. Sales dropped by 35.6% year-on-year to JPY 34.5 billion because of lower demand in the residential and industrial sectors in Japan. Sharp exited Europe in 2014.
(JPY 100 = USD 0.975/EUR 0.878)
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