Panasonic to drop plasma TV business early next year, says sources

It's no secret that Panasonic has been looking to jump ship from the plasma TV business, with word surfacing back in March that the company was looking to get out of the market. Now more concrete information has surfaced, with Reuters again reporting on the matter, this time with sources who claim Panasonic will be dropping from the business by March of 2014.

The information comes from sources said to be "familiar with the situation" who say the move comes to drop what has proven to be an unprofitable business. Panasonic's president Kazuhiro Tsuga is aiming to shift the company's focus towards products that bring in higher profits, something that is a move to stop the company from suffering annual losses.

The end of March 2014 is the end goal, and represents the end of the company's financial year. At the beginning of the financial year, Panasonic allocated 120 billion yen for restructuring plans, and will take a 40 billion yen impairment loss on its final plasma factory in Japan, which will be shut down — also according to the sources.

Over the past couple of years, Panasonic has been hit with what amounts to $15 billion in net losses, something reported to be one of the biggest results of the ailing plasma TV business efforts. This past financial year alone, the company's television division suffered an operating loss of $913 million. According to a statement made by the company today, Panasonic looked into other options for its plasma division. The sources say "several hundred" workers will be moved to different areas of the company.

SOURCE: Reuters