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Hitachi sees smaller fall in plasma TV prices

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Old 09-11-2006, 09:49 PM   #1  
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Default Hitachi sees smaller fall in plasma TV prices

MIYAZAKI (Reuters) - Hitachi Ltd. said on Tuesday it expects prices of its plasma display TVs to fall by about 20 percent in the business year to next March, less than its previous forecast for a decline of 30 percent.

Hitachi Vice President Makoto Ebata told reporters he expects strong sales of plasma TVs of more than 40 inches, which are less threatened by competition from LCD TV makers that tend to be strongest in TVs smaller than 40 inches.

"Panels are getting bigger and demand for high-definition plasma TVs is strengthening," Ebata said at a new flat panel factory in Miyazaki, southwestern Japan. "We are aiming for 30 percent of the global market for high-definition plasma TVs."

Hitachi was the world's fifth-largest seller of plasma display TVs in 2005, following Matsushita Electronics Industrial Co. Ltd., LG Electronics Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Philips, figures from research firm DisplaySearch show.

Shares of Hitachi were up 1.34 percent at 754 yen as of 0439 GMT, outperforming the benchmark Nikkei average, which was little changed.

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