Samsung SDI to close down its German glass-tube plant

Samsung SDI Co. said yesterday that it will shut down the company's cathode ray tube factory in Berlin by the year end due to sinking demand for bulky televisions.

Samsung SDI Germany currently churns out 250,000 color picture tubes annually.

However, the demand for the picture tube has steadily decreased in recent years as European consumers increasingly favor flat screen panels, such as liquid crystal display and plasma display panels, for their television screens.

Further, cheaper glass tubes from China and India have been eating away Samsung's share in the European market.

Europe's CRT television market in Europe stood at 439 million units last year. It is expected to shrink to 358 million units this year and further down to 305 million units next year.

The German unit of Samsung SDI, also a maker of PDP and mobile display, saw its sales of CRT decline over the years from 344 million euros ($419.96 million) in 2002 to 261 million ($318.64 million) in 2003, and 229 million euros ($279.56 million) last year.

"Color picture tubes are losing their place in the European market, and we decided to shut the glass-tube unit in Germany in order to prevent any further losses," said Kim Dong-sik, president of Samsung SDI Germany.

The plant closure is expected to result in the loss of 750 jobs.

Samsung SDI said it has no plans to shut down other overseas CRT plants for the time being.

600450 Samsung SDI to close down its German glass-tube plant
Date: 23 September 2005

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