Pioneer, which is attributing much of its losses for the past financial year on price-pressure in the flatscreen market, has officially confirmed its plasma TV partnership with Panasonic.

And it will be introducing its LCD TV models, made in association with Sharp, in Europe from August.

The Japanese company, announcing its 2007-8 financial results in Tokyo, said its sales were down 2.8% to 774bn yen, or around £3.8bn, due mainly to declining sales of plasma TVs and DVD recorders. By contrast, sales of Blu-ray devices, and audio and navigation products for the in-car market were up.

Plasma sales were down 8.8% by value, and accounted for just 40% of the company's home electronics sales, against 49% in 2006-7. The largest loss in sales was on the Japanese domestic market, which is proving tough for makers of high-end TVs.

To combat these losses, Pioneer will be closing two plasma display panel plants in Japan, at Yamanashi and Kagoshima, and turning over its plant in Shizuoka to assembly and inspection, using panels obtained by Panasonic under an agreement starting in 2009. The new generation of plasmas, due to be announced in Europe next week, will be unaffected.

On the subject of LCD TVs, the company says it "plans to successively roll out Sharp Corporation-supplied LCD TVs starting in Europe in August 2008.

"Going forward, Pioneer plans to develop LCD TVs that combine its proprietary technologies with LCD panels supplied by Sharp, for an expanding number of regions.

"The two companies are also discussing joint development aimed at boosting development efficiency and combining Sharp’s outstanding liquid crystal technology with Pioneer’s technologies for realizing high picture quality."

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