Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. plans to close four production and development bases in its home appliance and air conditioner units to improve profit margins, according to a report from Bloomberg.
By September, the company will close a refrigerator condenser plant, a dishwasher factory, a home equipment developer, and an air-conditioning system plant. Osaka-based Matsushita announced the closures in a statement without giving a cost estimate. The restructuring will affect 1,700 employees who will be relocated to other parts of the company.
Matsushita is increasing plasma TV production capacity and focusing on larger, high-definition models to counter falling prices and maintain its lead in the U.S. $21.6 billion market. The company earlier this month projected an 8 percent operating profit margin by March 2010, compared with a forecast 5 percent for this fiscal year.
According to Bloomberg, the Panasonic brand-name maker said on Jan. 10 it expects sales to rise 12 percent to 10 trillion yen (approx. U.S. $83 billion) in 3 years. The company will invest 280 billion yen (approx. $2.3 billion) to build the world's biggest plasma TV factory by May 2009.
Bloomberg reported that Matsushita's sales of refrigerators, washing machines and other home appliances will rise 15 percent to 3 trillion yen (approx. $24.9 billion) in 3 years, the company reported earlier this month. Sales of audio-visual electronics, such as TVs, cameras and DVD recorders, are expected to gain 70 percent to 1.7 trillion yen (approx. $14.1 billion).
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