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Fri, Sep 07, 2007 - Page 10 News List

Report says Sanyo mulling exit from white goods market

BATTERY POWER After suffering annual net losses over the past three years, the Osaka-based firm is increasing its focus on batteries

AFP , TOKYO

Troubled Japanese consumer electronics maker Sanyo Electric is considering exiting the market for major household appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines, a report said yesterday.

Sanyo may withdraw from white goods to focus on more profitable areas such as batteries, the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported in its evening edition without naming any sources.

The company said in response that it had not ruled anything out on the fate of the business but that no decision had yet been taken.

"While Sanyo is considering all options and possibilities regarding the future expansion and improvement of its white goods business, at this time there are no plans to sell neither this business nor the logistics subsidiary," it said in a brief statement.

Sanyo, which controls 40 percent of the global market for lithium-batteries, is struggling to return from the red amid fierce price competition. A scandal over alleged window-dressing of its accounts has only added to its woes.

After suffering an annual net loss for the past three years, Sanyo is increasing its focus on batteries, which have been a bright spot in its otherwise lackluster recent performance.

The troubled company is reportedly moving closer to a sale of its mobile phone manufacturing unit and a majority stake in its semiconductor business.

The Osaka-based firm, which started out making bicycle lamps after World War II, has been accelerating its restructuring with thousands of job cuts as part of efforts to stem its large losses.

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