October 28, 2014 / 7:50 AM / 3 years ago

LG Electronics exit suggests end is near for plasma TVs

The LG company logo is seen following an event during the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES ) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 6, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc said it will wind down its plasma television business by end-November, as a technology long overtaken by liquid crystal display takes one step closer to its demise.

LG Electronics said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday that the decision reflects a decline in demand for plasma TVs, with the business accounting for 2.4 percent of its 2013 annual revenue. The exit was widely anticipated as LCD TVs have become the mainstay in global markets.

“We wanted to keep it going as long as we could,” LG spokesman Ken Hong told Reuters, noting that LG Electronics has been making its own plasma panels. “No matter how much we try to keep it going it’s just not a business anymore.”

Analysts said plasma displays were technically unable to catch up to the advances in screen resolutions, and it also consumed more power and generated more heat than LCD.

“All those factors combined to push industry players to concentrate on LCD technology,” said Seoul-based IBK Securities analyst Eo Kyu-jin.Market research firm NPD DisplaySearch said in July that global plasma TV shipments will fall to 500,000 in 2015 from 5.2 million in 2014, all but disappearing from the market.

Japan’s Panasonic Corp said in October last year that it would pull out of the plasma TV business. Once LG exits, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd would be the last major player.

Samsung says it plans to continue making plasma TVs but declined to say where it would get the plasma panels once sister company Samsung SDI Co Ltd pulls out of the business by end-November.

Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Ryan Woo

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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