News Column

Panasonic Mulls Withdrawal from Plasma TVs

March 18, 2013

Tokyo (dpa) - Panasonic Corp is considering exiting from the plasma screen market as part of a major restructuring over the next three years, a news report said Monday.

The embattled consumer electronics producer plans to terminate production of plasma panels at its main plant in the western Japanese city of Amagasaki around the financial year starting in April 2014, the Nikkei business daily reported without citing any sources.

Panasonic had already written off the value of production equipment at the three buildings there in the fiscal year to March 2012, the Nikkei said.

Its television business, which generated sales of more than 1 trillion yen ($10.5 billion) in the fiscal year starting April 2009, was predicted to see income drop to less than half of that by 2015 if operations in the sector continue, the daily said.

Panasonic has already stopped new development of plasma televisions. The company decided that handling both plasma and liquid crystal display models would be inefficient, especially in Japan, where the flat-TV market is shrinking, the report said.

Plasma screens' pixels are tiny gas-filled chambers of different colours which light up under electrical tension. The technology is only viable for screens over 32 inches (81 centimetres).

Liquid crystal displays, where the light source is separate from the colour component of the actual liquid crystal, can be more easily manufactured in a wider variety of sizes and for various purposes beyond televisions.

Panasonic is expected to post a fifth consecutive year of operating losses in its TV business in the current financial year.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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