UPDATE 2-Japan's Sharp to exit Americas TV market after deep Q1 loss

Fri Jul 31, 2015 5:31am EDT
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* Op loss 28.8 bln yen vs 21.2 bln yen analyst view

* Loss comes after weak smartphone display sales

* To sell Mexico TV plant, license brand to China's Hisense

* May consider strategic deal for LCD business -CEO (Adds Hisense comment on purchase price, Sharp comments on further restructuring)

TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) - Sharp Corp on Friday said it would exit the TV set business in the Americas and consider more steps to shore up its finances, after reporting a deeper-than-expected quarterly loss on weak sales of smartphone displays.

The Japanese electronics maker said it would sell its TV manufacturing plant in Mexico and license its brand in the Americas to China's Hisense Group. In a separate statement, Hisense said it would pay $23.7 million for the business.

Osaka-based Sharp was once a highly profitable manufacturer of premium TVs and a favoured screen supplier to Apple Inc , but has struggled to innovate enough to fend off Asian rivals.

In May, the company sought $1.9 billion in its second major bank-led financing in three years. In return, it promised to cut 5,000 jobs, or 10 percent of staff.

"Sharp has not been able to fully adapt to the intensifying market competition, which led to significantly lower profits compared to the initial projections for the previous fiscal year, and has been suffering from poor earnings performance," Sharp said in a statement explaining the TV business sale.   Continued...