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Wednesday, 09 October 2013 08:40

Panasonic to pull out of plasma

Written by Nick Farrell



Unprofitable

Panasonic will pull out of the plasma television panel business by the end of the financial year. Panasonic had been widely expected to back out of the unprofitable business, but the exit comes sooner than predicted.

It seems that it is part of the cunning plan of company President Kazuhiro Tsuga's plan to weed out weak operations as he focuses on higher-margin products. The company is fed up with losses. Panasonic's TV division has been a major contributor to the electronics company's combined $15 billion net loss in its two latest financial years. Its TV business posted an operating loss of $913 million in the last financial year. It will mean the closure of its sole plasma panel factory in western Japan. 

Plasma was a technology in which TV makers once invested heavily but has been eclipsed by LCD business. Plasma display TVs accounted for less than 6 percent of global shipments in 2012, compared with 87 percent for LCD TVs. Japan's TV makers have been crippled by a strong yen and lost their innovative edge against Samsung with deep resources to spend on research and development.

Panasonic said in a statement on Wednesday that it continued to consider various options for the plasma display panel business but that nothing had been decided yet. Several hundred employees in Panasonic's plasma operation are expected to be deployed to other parts of the company, the sources said.

Nick Farrell

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