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Sharp Philippines keeps distance from Osaka, rides on PHL growth


A Japanese maker of consumer electronics on Friday said their Philippine operations is not affected by the bleeding balance sheet of its Osaka, Japan-based parent company.   In fact, banking on an expanding Philippine economy, the company said it is growing its portfolio of Philippine made products and employing more Filipinos.   “[We are] globally independent – that’s our company policy, not only in the Philippines,” Sharp (Philippines) Corp. president and general manager Takahiro Tanaka told GMA News Online during the company’s 30th anniversary in the country.   Parent Sharp Corporation – which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year – expects a shortfall to ¥250 billion or $3.15 billion in current fiscal year due to fierce competition and a profit-sapping strong yen, according to an Agence-France Presse report. The figures were higher than the original forecast of a ¥30 billion net loss.   "Majority of Filipinos patronize our products...” Tanaka told reporters during a press conference.   “We want to be part of the continuous growth of the Philippines by producing locally, with the vision that our employees must grow together with the company in achieving its financial growth in the years to come," said Tanaka.   "Soon we'd like to add LED [light-emitting diode] TV to our local production portfolio," the Sharp official said.   As of June 30, 2012, the company employed 524 workers in its Muntinlupa factory. But Tanaka did not disclose how many more people Sharp Philippines would hire to support its expanding operations.   Emmanuel Valencia, Sharp Philippines executive vice president for sales and marketing, said the Philippine unit’s market share to revenues of its parent company is barely 2 percent.   “We’re a very small player…” Valencia noted, adding that the “financial condition in Japan is not us.   “We make our own money. We don’t rely on Japan,” Valencia added.   Various studies are being made to know the present market situation and production of new and quality items with competitive pricing, said Tanaka.   Sharp in Osaka is cutting the salaries of management and rank-and-file employees by 10 percent and 7 percent, respectively, according to AFP. Bonuses of employees would also be halved, as part of cost-cutting measures to regain profitability.   Tanaka, however, said the Sharp Philippines has no intention of  laying-off employees or cut their salaries to help its parent shore up its bottomline.   “No cost-cutting and laying off [of] jobs because our business is still growing. We are not affected,” he added.   Declining to say how much the company made in the first, Tanaka, however, noted the company’s first half net income reflected a “25 percent growth in both income and revenues.”   False reports   He denied the reports – that headquarters plans to sell its copier and air-conditioning business –  to plug a bleeding balance sheet.   “Sharp Corporation is in the process of revitalizing its business and is exploring all options to improve financial condition,” Tanaka said in a speech.   “However, Sharp is not negotiating the sale of its businesses such as copier and air-conditioner that media has falsely reported,” he added.   To mark its 30th anniversary in the Philippines, the company introduced on Friday its biggest television set, an 80-inch Aquos imported from Japan.   Tanaka said Aquos 80 comes at a time when the Philippines is gearing up for digital broadcasting by 2015 from the current analog system.   The shift to digital TV technology means more channels and clearer broadcast signals for television viewers. — VS, GMA News
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