Japan's Sharp Corp posted a near tripling in nine-month operating profit on a jump in television sales ahead of the reduction of government subsidies in its home market, and kept its annual outlook unchanged.

The company benefited from increased sales in Japan for a wide range of energy-efficient consumer electronics ahead of a cut in government subsidies from December, but overseas earnings were hurt by a strong yen and stiff foreign competition.

Sharp, which competes with South Korea's Samsung Electronics and LG Display in liquid crystal display (LCD) panels, said operating profit was 66.5 billion yen ($814 million) in April-December.

The manufacturer of Aquos LCD TVs kept its operating profit forecast at 90 billion yen for the year to March, higher than the consensus of 84.1 billion yen in a poll of 23 analysts by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sharp, which makes a slew of electronics products and their components from audio systems to solar cells, had lowered its annual profit forecast by a quarter in October, citing a stronger yen and weaker demand for LCD panels.

Sharp shares have risen 3.0 percent so far this year through Wednesday, outperforming a 1.7 percent rise in the Tokyo stock market's electrical machinery index.

(Reporting by James Topham; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott and Joseph Radford)