TOKYO (Reuters) - Screen supplier Japan Display said its quarterly profit surged past estimates as sales to Chinese smartphone makers jumped, in stark contrast with peer Sharp Corp's shrinking panel business in China.
Japan Display said on Thursday operating profit for October-December climbed 80 percent from a year earlier to 14.7 billion yen ($122 million). It reported an operating loss of 7.6 billion in the previous quarter, before sales to fast-growing firms like Xiaomi Inc kicked in.
Revenue for the third quarter of Japan Display's fiscal year rose 55 percent to 251.1 billion yen from 161.8 billion yen a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected an operating profit of 14 billion yen on revenue of 236 billion yen, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Facing intense competition from rivals in Asia that has also hurt Sharp, Japan Display reported losses in the first two quarters of its fiscal year and has seen its market value nearly halved since its listing in March last year. On Thursday it maintained its full-year outlook for an operating loss of 6.5 billion yen and net loss of 12 billion.
The firm was formed in 2012 from the ailing display units of Sony Corp, Toshiba Corp and Hitachi Ltd with government-backed fund, Innovation Network Corp of Japan, its top shareholder.
(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)