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Sharp’s Energy Unit Profit Falls as Japan Generates Lower Return

Sharp Corp.’s energy business reported a 97 percent decline in profit for the first quarter as sales of solar products to residential customers in Japan generated lower returns.

Operating profit at the electronics maker’s energy unit, known previously as the solar cells product group, was 100 million yen ($971,000) in the three months ended June 30, compared with 6.8 billion yen for the same period a year ago, the Osaka-based company said in a statement.

Sales fell to 69 billion yen from 84.3 billion yen. Sharp sold 360 megawatts of solar products in the period, compared with 343 megawatts a year ago.

“Profit fell due to a decrease in sales for the domestic residential market and a sales decrease in the overseas developer business,” the company said in the statement.

Sharp is projecting a profit of 3 billion yen for the year ending March 31 at the energy business, reversing an earlier forecast of a 5 billion yen loss.

The company has been reorganizing its solar business and stopped making panels at plants in the U.S. and U.K. earlier this year. It’s also pulling out of its Italian solar venture, the company’s last panel manufacturing plant overseas.

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