Sharp annual profit more than quadruples

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TOKYO (AP) - Sharp said its annual profit more than quadrupled due to brisk demand for liquid crystal display screens but warned the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last month will have a “broad” impact on its business.

Osaka-based Sharp Corp. said Wednesday that its net profit for the fiscal year ended March 31 surged 341 percent to 19.4 billion yen ($237.4 million) from 4.4 billion yen the previous fiscal year.

The result was below its October forecast for a 30 billion yen net profit due to supply chain damage from the March 11 disasters and costs from LCD plant improvements.

Sales increased 10 percent to 3.021 trillion yen ($37 billion), with revenue from LCD displays used for game consoles, tablet computers, TVs and smartphones increasing 21 percent to 614.3 billion yen.

LCD TV sales were especially robust in China, where Sharp sold 2.18 million of the devices, up from 1.18 million a year earlier, Sharp spokesman Toshiyuki Matsumura said.

Sharp said it could not provide a specific earnings forecast for the current fiscal year through March 2012 because of uncertainties remaining after the quake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster.

“It is extremely difficult at this time to reasonably estimate the impact of the earthquake on our financial results, which will be broad across our entire business activities from production to sales,” Sharp said.

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