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Japanese TV Makers Gain Market Share as Weaker Yen Boosts Sales

Japanese electronics makers grabbed a bigger share of flat-panel television sales in the second quarter as a weaker yen made their sets more competitive against those made by companies based in South Korea and China.

Sony Corp. raised its portion of worldwide revenue in the period to 8 percent from 5.2 percent in the first quarter, researcher DisplaySearch said on its website yesterday. Panasonic Corp. accounted for 5.3 percent of the industry’s sales in the period, up from 4.6 percent.

Japanese makers regained some lost ground to Samsung Electronics Co., LG Electronics Inc. and TCL Corp. as prices and demand dropped. Global flat-panel TV revenue at the five largest manufacturers combined fell 12 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, as demand from North America and Europe weakened, DisplaySearch said.

“The weak yen and cost cuts by Japanese TV makers have helped them advance their market share,” Keita Wakabayashi, an analyst at Mito Securities Co. in Tokyo, said by phone. “The overall market is not what it used to be as panel prices continue to decrease.”

The Japanese currency has declined about 24 percent against the Korean won in the past 12 months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A weaker yen makes Japanese exports cheaper. The dollar bought 99.76 yen as of 2:25 p.m. in Tokyo, after reaching 99.86 yesterday, the strongest since Aug. 2.

Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung Electronics had a market share of 26.5 percent in the second quarter, falling from 27.8 percent in the previous three months, according to DisplaySearch. The share of Seoul-based LG Electronics fell to 16.3 percent from 16.4 percent. Guangdong, China-based TCL, the smallest of the top five makers, had a share of 5.1 percent, dropping from 6 percent.

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