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As Philips pulls out of plasma, Hitachi which two years ago aquired the patents for plasma TV from Fujitsu has announced it is struggling to survive in the plasma TV market.

The world’s fourth largest maker of plasma displays behind Panasonic, Samsung, LG and Pioneer has widened its half-year loss forecast, citing costs to stop production at a plasma television panel factory.

Hitachi expects a $365 million net loss for the six months ending Sept. 30, from its earlier projection of $260 million. The problem for the company according to analysts is that they are not selling enough plasma units with enough margin in them  to justify re-investment into new plasma manufacturing capabilities.

The Tokyo-based company said it will take a $156 million hit for the production halt. Hitachi has said it will stop production next month at its plasma factory, based in Miyazaki prefecture in southern Kyushu island, because it is old. The facility started operations in March 2001.

The company, Japan’s largest electronics group, is currently making plasma panels at a new plant located in Miyazaki, which started operations in October last year. It also manufactures panels for Fujitsu plasma TVs.

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