Toshiba Aims to Double TV Market Share in Middle East, Africa

Toshiba Corp. aims to double its share of the growing market for liquid crystal display televisions in the Middle East and Africa in the next three years after extending a joint venture in Egypt.

The Japanese electronics maker is targeting a 20 percent market share by the fiscal year ending March 2014, compared with 9 percent now, spokesman Keisuke Ohmori said in a telephone interview. Toshiba signed an agreement today with El Araby Group to sell TVs in the region through a venture between the two companies, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement.

Toshiba is counting on sales of flat-panel TVs in emerging markets to help offset an anticipated plunge in domestic demand after the expiration of Japanese government subsidies designed to boost consumer spending, Masaaki Oosumi, president of Toshiba’s Visual Products Company, said in November. The company and El Araby, a partner since the 1980s, agreed last month to build a TV factory in Egypt.

The market for LCD televisions in the Middle East and Africa may grow 34 percent a year through 2012 to 5.2 million sets, Ohmori said. Two-thirds of the TVs currently sold in the region are still the traditional, bulkier sets, he said. He declined to give Toshiba’s revenue target for the market.

Toshiba, which makes everything from nuclear power plants to semiconductors and TVs, rose 0.2 percent to 487 yen at 2:45 p.m. on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, while the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped 0.8 percent.

Toshiba and El Araby have a sales and marketing joint venture that exports home appliances from Egypt to other African countries. Today’s agreement adds visual products to the lineup, the statement said.

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