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Pioneer reported to end flat-screen TV business

PIONEER Corp. is pulling the plug on its money-losing flat-screen TV business as plunging global demand and intense competition left the Japanese electronics maker with little hope of turning the segment around, local media reported today.

The sudden move is the latest strategic shift among Japanese manufacturers reeling from an accelerating global downturn and scrambling to stem losses.

The Nikkei financial daily said Pioneer will stake its future on its core car electronics business, which now accounts for more than half of its total revenue.

The Tokyo-based company said in October that it expects to fall deeper into the red this fiscal year through March. It forecasts a 78 billion yen (US$846.6 million) net loss, with its home electronics division, which includes televisions, posting an operating loss of 27 billion yen.

Pioneer had originally decided to stop making its own plasma display panels and instead use Panasonic Corp. panels in its TVs, but the deteriorating business outlook forced the company to abandon the segment altogether, the Nikkei and Kyodo news agency reported.

Pioneer will also move its DVD player operations to a new joint venture with Sharp Corp. and plans to cut thousands of jobs next fiscal year, the Nikkei said.

In a statement, Pioneer said the news reports were not based on official information from the company. It said details on restructuring measures would be unveiled Thursday when it releases earnings.


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