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Matsushita U.S. Plasma TV Strategy Succeeding
Mar 1, 2005
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Japan's Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., which sells consumer devices under the Panasonic brand, said that its six month-long push to sell more plasma flat-panel televisions is going better than expected.

"We have kept the number one position in plasma TV sales (at U.S. retailers) for 25 of the last 26 weeks," said Yoshi Yamada, CEO of Matsushita's North American subsidiary.

Matsushita's regional unit here was renamed Panasonic Corporation of North America in 2004, Mr. Yamada said.

Although Matsushita is one of the leaders in Japan's cell phone market and posted a 24-percent jump in operating profit in its latest fiscal quarter on strong sales of home appliances, the company as a whole is putting its focus domestically and internationally on growing its plasma TV business, Mr. Yamada said.

Several analysts have recently cut their investment ratings on Matsushita due to concerns its earnings will be weighed down by sluggish demand for semiconductors, slower growth in its mobile phone division, and sliding prices of consumer electronics.

Despite adopting the Panasonic brand as its main identity in North America, Mr. Yamada said that there were no plans to introduce the company's cell phones or home appliances here. (Reuters)

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