Panasonic-Toshiba Venture to Shutter Malaysia CRT Plant

Matsushita Toshiba Picture Display will close a plant in Malaysia that manufactures cathode ray tubes (CRTs) for television sets, the company said Thursday.

Operations at the plant will end in August. The company, which produces CRTs between 21 inches and 32 inches in diagonal width for the Japanese and North American markets, recorded staggering losses last year that almost equaled its sales.

In the most recent financial year, which ended in March, the company lost 969 million Malaysian ringgit (US$264 million) on sales of 973 million Malaysian ringgit.

Panasonic will continue to manufacture CRT-based television sets in Malaysia using CRTs sourced from factories in Thailand and the Philippines, Akira Kadota, a spokesman for the Osaka company, said Thursday.

Matsushita Toshiba Picture Display is a joint venture between Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic) and Toshiba.

-Martyn Williams, IDG News Service (Tokyo Bureau)

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