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Panasonic to shrink TV business, exit plasma
March 18, 2013 , 1 : 14 pm
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Embattled Japanese electronics giant Panasonic plans to scale down its television business and withdraw from manufacturing plasma displays, a report said on Monday. Under its mid-turn business plan to be announced on March 28, Panasonic will significantly downsize its television business over a three-year period starting next fiscal year from April, the business daily Nikkei reported.
Panasonic intends to halt production of TV plasma panels at its main plant in Amagasaki in western Japan, around fiscal 2014, and had already written off the value of production equipment at the three buildings there by fiscal 2011, the report said. Jiji Press reported a similar story, while a separate report by the Yomiuri Shimbun said Panasonic will withdraw from the healthcare business and sell its healthcare unit as well as its buildings.
Like its domestic rivals, Panasonic was sideswiped by slumping sales on the back of the global slowdown and also took on huge restructuring costs, which contributed heavily to its bleeding bottom line. Panasonic said last month it logged a nine-month operating profit of 121.95 billion yen ($1.29 billion), despite its whopping net loss, saying the positive result was due "mainly to fixed cost reductions and streamlining material costs".
Weak demand for flat-panel televisions, however, helped push total sales down 8.8 percent to 5.44 trillion yen, it added. In a statement, Panasonic said nothing had been decided yet, but added that discussions on the business strategy were ongoing.
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