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Japan Display’s annual net loss jumps to ¥247 bil.

ReutersTOKYO (Reuters) — Smartphone screen maker Japan Display Inc. reported an annual net loss of about ¥247.2 billion, its biggest, highlighting the Apple Inc. supplier’s struggle to regain competitiveness against Asian rivals.

Japan Display said on Tuesday it lost a net ¥247.2 billion in the year through March. That was nearly eight times the ¥31.7 billion loss a year earlier and steeper than the market’s average forecast for a ¥222 billion loss, according to Thomson Reuters data.

It was its fourth straight year of losses, as growing competition from Asian rivals aggravated the impact of slower demand from smartphone makers.

The company did not give a standard forecast for the current fiscal year, although it did say it was aiming to return to profit in the current year with sales growing around 10 to 20 percent. Markets, however, forecast a loss of 15 billion yen.

The company’s troubles stem in part from its delayed adoption of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens that cost the display maker orders from Apple.

The U.S. tech giant, which has accounted for over half of Japan Display’s sales, opted for OLED screens in its latest high-end iPhone X and bought them from Samsung Electronics Co.

Japan Display has said it wants to start mass-producing OLED screens to better compete with Samsung, and that it needs a partner who can help finance that effort. Analysts have said it will need more than ¥200 billion to launch a mass production line for OLED screens.

It said in April that it would raise $518 million through a new share issue and an asset sale, but the move is widely seen as a stop-gap measure and the company is still seeking a capital partner.

Japan Display was formed in 2012 by combining the LCD businesses of Hitachi Ltd., Toshiba Corp. and Sony Corp. in a deal brokered by the state-backed Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), its biggest investor.Speech

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