Loewe sees sales up on new products, stable prices
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German luxury TV maker Loewe LOEG.DE expects revenues to grow next year, helped by new a new television line and as prices remain stable its chief executive said on Wednesday.
Loewe will present its renewed product line next week at the IFA, Europe's biggest consumer electronics show in Berlin.
"The trend of increasing revenues should continue next year," Loewe's Oliver Seidl told Reuters.
Loewe faces stiff competition from Asian peers such as Samsung (005930.KS), LG (066570.KS) and Panasonic (6752.T) in the European market and is looking to expand to Asia for growth.
"We need to be present in the growth regions of the future to realize long-term success," Seidl said. "Europe will recover from the current crisis but growth rates there will be limited."
The global television panel market has been tough in recent years. Declining retail prices forced Sony Corp (6758.T) to cut its exposure to the TV panel business, while Dutch electronics group Philips (PHG.AS) agreed to sell its loss-making television unit earlier this year.
A long-awaited cooperation with Loewe's main shareholder Sharp (6753.T) will have to wait a while longer, Seidl said.
Sharp, which owns 28.8 percent of Loewe's shares, is curbing costs to satisfy bankers in a bid to stay solvent.
With debt of 1.25 trillion yen ($15.8 billion), Sharp is scrambling for money to refinance as much as 360 billion yen of short-term commercial paper and a 200 billion-yen convertible bond maturing in September next year.
"We are in close contact with Sharp and there were no discussions about whether Sharp would sell its stake to us," Seidl said, adding an exit by Sharp from Loewe was not on the agenda.
According to Thomson Reuters data Loewe's management owns 14 percent of the company and French maker of digital storage devices LaCie (ELED.PA) has a 11.2 percent stake. ($1 = 79.3700 Japanese yen)
(Reporting by Jens Hack; Writing by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)
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