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     Jun 2, 2006
Matsushita, Hitachi to double LCD output

TOKYO - Two of Japan's electric giants plan to double production of LCD panels, adding a new line at their joint venture and building a new assembly plant in Eastern Europe, a business daily reported on Wednesday.

IPS Alpha Technology, an LCD panel production joint venture that Matsushita Electric Industrial and Hitachi Ltd established with other firms last year, plans to invest 80 billion yen (US$713.7 million) to bolster facilities at home and abroad, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said.

"The joint venture has a plan to increase its LCD panel production

but no details can be released yet," Hitachi spokesman Tsuyoshi Miyata told AFP.

Matsushita, the maker of Panasonic-brand products, is the global leader in plasma televisions, while Hitachi is also strong in the sector.

LCD televisions have recently been enjoying stronger-than-expected growth, prompting the two manufacturers to decide to boost production capacity of midsize panels of around 32 inches, the newspaper said.

With the new production line, IPS Alpha's annual output of 32-inch units at full capacity is to be raised by as much as 80% from the current 2.5 million panels to 4.5 million panels by 2008, the report said.

IPS Alpha plans to spend 15 billion yen to build a new assembly plant in the Czech Republic within the year, the report said. Matsushita already has an assembly facility for LCD TVs and other products in the European country.

(Asia Pulse/PTI)



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