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Panasonic denies reports it will end plasma production in 2014

Panasonic has denied that it will pull out of the plasma TV panel business by March 2014, as reported by Reuters.

In a statement issued to whathifi.com, Panasonic says:

• The content of the [Reuters] report is not something that was announced by Panasonic.
• The company is looking into a variety of options regarding the strategy for the PDP [plasma display] business, but nothing has been decided at this stage.
• The company is looking into a variety of options regarding the utilization of the Amagasaki Factory, but nothing has been decided at this stage.

Reuters based its story on "sources familiar with the situation," it says.

MORE: Read our Panasonic TV reviews

There have long been rumours that Japanese TV manufacturer would pull out of the plasma business as it struggles to turn around its loss-making TV division.

Like rivals such as Sony, Toshiba and Sharp, Panasonic has suffered from over-capacity in the TV manufacturing business, a strong yen and the seemingly unstoppable success of Korean companies Samsung and LG.

According to Reuters, Panasonic's TV division was a major contributor to the company's combined £9bn loss in the last two financial years. Its TV business posted an operating loss of £573m in the last financial year.

This year's Panasonic plasmas have been better than ever, with models such as the 42in GT60 receiving glowing five-star reviews.

MORE: Panasonic 2014 TVs

by Andy Clough

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching whathifi.com in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.