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Panasonic to withdraw from plasma TV business

Kyodo

Panasonic Corp. will stop making plasma display panels for televisions at the end of this fiscal year in March, sources said Wednesday.

The struggling electronics maker, the last Japanese firm to withdraw from plasma TV output, is apparently aiming to accelerate the streamlining of its loss-making businesses.

As recently as March, Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga had said the firm would not end plasma display TV operations despite the drag on earnings.

The company will sell the buildings at its Amagasaki No. 3 factory in Hyogo Prefecture by the end of this year and allocate the funds to growing fields such as auto- and housing-related operations, according to the sources.

Workers involved in the plasma display business will be reassigned to other areas.

Plasma TVs have lost their competitiveness to rival liquid crystal TVs. Panasonic group firm Sanyo Electric Co. manufactures flat-panel TVs for U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart in North America.