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Toshiba to cut thousands of jobs at foreign TV plants

Japanese consumer electronics company Toshiba has announced it will close down or sell some of its overseas television plants over the next six months. Thousands of jobs will be lost in a bid to raise profitability.

Japan's Toshiba reported Monday it would shut down or find an investor for two of its three wholly-owned overseas television production facilities in the next six months, adding some 2,000 jobs would have to go as a result.

The company had already stopped domestic production of TV sets and said it was aiming to integrate its manufacturing units in China, Indonesia and Poland by the end of March 2014. No details were given as to which facility would survive, but the Nikkei business daily speculated the Indonesian factory might stay because of its high production efficiency.

Company spokesman Atsushi Ido said the overseas move would allow the firm to boost the outsourced elements of its television production from the current 40 percent to 70 percent by the end of the next fiscal year.

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Toshiba said it would also try and relocate 1,000 workers in Japan itself within the group as a result of the structural reform in the visual products business, including liquid crystal display TVs and Blu-ray players and recorders.

"Toshiba will focus more on emerging markets including Asia, the Middle East and Africa where growth in demand is expected," the company said in a statement.

The Tokyo-based firm has been struggling with poor sales of TV sets and sluggish demand for PCs amid growing popularity of smartphones and tablets.

hg/hc (dpa, AFP)

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