Panasonic reportedly exiting plasma TV, healthcare biz

Panasonic reportedly exiting plasma TV, healthcare biz

Summary: Struggling Japanese electronics giant is reportedly making plans to pull out of plasma TV production and the healthcare business to become more cost-efficient.

TOPICS: Tech Industry, Japan

Troubled Japanese electronics giant Panasonic is reportedly considering exiting from making plasma TV panels, as part of plans to downsize its TV business over three years starting the next fiscal year.

Reuters reported Monday, citing the Nikkei news agency, that Panasonic's TV business had sales of more than 1 trillion yen (US$10.5 billion) back at its peak in 2009/2010, but would earn less than half the amount in 2015/2016. The Japanese news agency did not cite any sources, the report said.

Panasonic is reviewing its options to cut costs as it looks to revive its fortunes.

Reuters quoted a Panasonic spokesperson as saying: "We are considering a number of options regarding our TV business. But nothing has been decided yet."

According to Nikkei, Panasonic planned to end production of plasma TV panels at its main plant in Amagaskai in western Japan around fiscal year 2014, and had already written off value of production equipment at the location. The company has also ended new development of plasma TVs, as it decided focusing on both plasma and LCD models would be inefficient, especially in Japan where the flat-TV market is shrinking.

Healthcare could fetch US$1B

The news comes shortly after reports on Sunday said Panasonic was considering selling off its healthcare business.

Bloomberg reported that Panasonic planned to sell the healthcare unit to cut costs, as overall company losses mount. and also quicken divesting in non-core business units. It cited the Nikkei as saying the unit could be sold for between a few tens of billion yen to 100 billion yen (US$1.04 billion).

The Japanese newspaper said Panasonic has been cutting jobs and reducing its number of business units as it forecasts a net loss of 765 billion yen (US$8.06 billion) in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013.

Panasonic's healthcare business includes hearing aids and devices that monitor blood sugar levels. 

Topics: Tech Industry, Japan

Jamie Yap

About Jamie Yap

Jamie writes about technology, business and the most obvious intersection of the two that is software. Other variegated topics include--in one form or other--cloud, Web 2.0, apps, data, analytics, mobile, services, and the three Es: enterprises, executives and entrepreneurs. In a previous life, she was a writer covering a different but equally serious business called show business.

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  • Wow

    Having just purchased my first plasma and it being a Panasonic, I have to say, I am disappointed with this decision.

    The Plasma clearly has very deep black levels and a much better Gamut resulting in over all better Dynamic Range. Of course, the prices are down now too so, that makes for an interesting situation as the OLED will not be cheap.