Sharp aims to quadruple home appliance sales

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Sharp Corp said it aims to quadruple sales of home appliances to ¥1 trillion ($9.2 billion) by the year ending in March 2013, making them an earnings pillar along with LCD display and solar cell operations.

The Japanese consumer electronics maker, which targets ¥3.6 trillion in overall sales for the current business year to next March, expects its LED lighting gear and white goods that help promote users' health to boost its appliances sales.

Sharp said last month it would enter the lighting gear market with energy-saving equipment based on light-emitting diode (LED) technology.

Light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures, which consume less energy and last longer than incandescent and fluorescent lights, are seen as promising next-generation lights as costs for power generation and concerns about greenhouse gas emissions rise.

However, they are much more expensive than conventional lighting at the moment, and Sharp is set to face stiff competition with established rivals such as Philips Electronics and Toshiba Corp.

Sharp President Mikio Katayama said on Monday he aims to bring sales of its LED lighting equipment to about ¥200 billion by the business year to March 2013.

Sharp also plans to promote sales of its refrigerators and washer/dryer hybrids equipped with its Plasmacluster air-purification technology that eliminates airborne viruses.

Sharp was the world's fourth-largest LCD TV maker in April-June behind Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Sony Corp and LG Electronics Inc in terms of revenues, according to data from DisplaySearch.

Following the announcement, shares in Sharp closed down 3.1% at ¥1,356, underperforming the Tokyo stock market's electrical machinery index, which fell 2.3%. (Reuters)

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