Panasonic to exit plasma TV panel business by end-March 2014

TOKYO Tue Oct 8, 2013 8:29pm EDT

TOKYO Oct 9 (Reuters) - Japan's Panasonic Corp has decided to pull out of the plasma television panel business by the end of the current financial year in March 2014, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Wednesday.

Panasonic had been expected to exit the struggling business, although the move was sooner than some analysts had predicted. Several hundred employees in the plasma operation are expected to be deployed to other parts of the company, the sources said.

With the closure of its sole plasma panel factory in western Japan, Panasonic will book an impairment loss of more than 40 billion yen ($413 million) on its last remaining factory building in operation, the sources added.

Panasonic said in a statement that it continued to consider various options for the plasma display panel business but that nothing had been decided yet. ($1 = 96.9500 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Reiji Murai; Writing by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Edmund Klamann)