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Written by: Staff
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TOKYO, Apr 19: S-LCD Corp., a liquid crystal display (LCD) joint venture between Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co., said on Wednesday it would invest an additional $239 million to boost output.

Seeking a greater share of booming flat-screen TV sales, Sony and Samsung agreed to a $2 billion expansion at S-LCD just over a week ago to build an eighth-generation LCD line.

Shares in Sony were up 1.94 percent at 5,780 yen by midday, while Samsung was up 2.6 percent at 672,000 won.

The latest 28 billion yen ($239 million) investment will raise the venture's output capacity of seventh-generation panels for LCD TVs to 90,000 units a month by early 2007.

S-LCD, set up in 2004 as LCD makers sought tie-ups to survive fierce competition, currently has the capacity to make 60,000 units and has already announced it planned to raise capacity to 75,000 units a month from July.

Demand for large LCD panels used in personal computers is expected to rise 50 percent over the next three years, while demand for LCD panels for TVs is projected to jump more than threefold, according to research firm DisplaySearch.

Sony, Japan's second-largest consumer electronics maker after Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., took the top spot in LCD TV sales in the fourth quarter of 2005 as its Bravia brand TVs have made big strides in grabbing market share in the United States and Japan.

Eighth-generation LCD lines use bigger glass panels, enabling makers to produce more LCD panels and boosting efficiency.

Eighth-generation glass yields eight 46-inch TV panels, compared with six from seventh-generation glass.

($1=117.07 Yen)

REUTERS

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