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Panasonic to cut plasma TV panel production: reports

Panasonic's logo is seen on an electronics shop's wall in Tokyo April 28, 2011. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) - Panasonic Corp will reduce plasma TV panel production and cut up to several thousand jobs, as its loss-making television unit struggles to compete with Asian rivals, domestic media reported on Thursday.

Panasonic will stop plasma panel production at its Amagasaki No. 3 factory in Hyogo prefecture in Southern Japan, broadcaster NHK and the Yomiuri newspaper said on their websites. NHK cited a source close to the matter, while the Yomiuri did not give sourcing.

Amagasaki No. 3, the largest plasma panel factory in the world with production capacity of 330,000 panels per month, was completed in December 2009, the Yomiuri said. It makes large panels from 42 inches to 150 inches, the paper said.

The company is also considering selling off a liquid-crystal display panel plant at Mobara in Chiba prefecture, next to Tokyo, the reports said.

Panasonic will cut staffing by several thousand, including through voluntary redundancies, the Yomiuri reported.

A spokesman for Panasonic said the company was considering various options for its television business, but had nothing to announce at this point.

Panasonic, along with domestic rivals Sony and Sharp, is struggling to compete with the likes of South Korea’s Samsung Electronics.

The firm is set to announce its July-September earnings and give an update on strategy on October 31.

Reporting by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Joseph Radford

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