'Tablet boom driving Panasonic display unit back to profit'
As Panasonic draws back from money-losing TVs - it makes the Viera TV brand - it's looking to boost sales of smaller LCD panels used in tablets and mobile phones, a strategy also being pursued by rival Sharp Corp.
Panasonic, Sharp and Sony Corp have been battered by declining TV sales and a strong yen that makes their products look expensive when lined up against innovative designs from South Korean competitors and others. Panasonic has warned it will lose close to $10 billion this year as it writes off tax deferred assets and goodwill across businesses and prepares for a restructuring. Finance chief Hideaki Kawai told Reuters on Wednesday that a fifth of Panasonic's 88 business units are losing money and only half meet a 5 percent operating margin target.
Small LCD panels will likely make up around 60 percent of the unit's sales in the six months to March, double their first-half contribution, Yoshio Ito said.
We are now making displays for more than 10 models of tablets and PCs, he said in an interview at a former factory in Ibaraki in western Japan, once the hub of TV production and now his headquarters and a research and development centre.
Making money again from LCD panels will help cover continued losses from
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