February 6, 2009 / 5:34 AM / 10 years ago

REFILE-UPDATE 1-NEC says may withdraw from PC business in Europe

(Corrects headline to...says..., not... say...)

(Recasts with company confirmation)

TOKYO, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Japan’s NEC Corp (6701.T) said on Friday it may withdraw from its loss-making personal computer business in Europe, Africa and the Middle East amid slumping demand and tough competition.

NEC, which expects a $3.2 billion annual net loss, is acclerating restructuring efforts, which include pulling out from weak businesses and cutting more than 20,000 jobs worldwide.

Competition with rivals such as Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) and Dell Inc DELL.O has been fierce and NEC sold its retail PC business in Europe in 2006.

Its French subsidiary, NEC Computers SAS, now ships about 400,000 desktop and notebook PCs a year for corporate customers, which accounts for about 13 percent of the Japanese company’s total PC shipments.

A NEC spokesman said the company is talking with union representatives at its French subsidiary on ending PC production and downsizing the plant which employs about 510 workers.

The factory also makes server-related products.

NEC, which has the top PC market share in Japan, last month warned it would post a net loss of 290 billion yen ($3.2 billion) compared with its previous estimate for a 15 billion yen profit due to dwindling demand for electronics products and semiconductors. (Reporting by Sachi Izumi; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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