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Sanyo reveals how slump hit factory

PUBLISHED: 10:05 05 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:20 06 July 2010

THE multi-million pound slump in sales suffered by TV manufacturer Sanyo in the months before its East Anglian factory closed was revealed last night.

Sanyo Industries UK stopped production at its School Road factory in Lowestoft in February with the loss of 60 jobs.

THE multi-million pound slump in sales suffered by TV manufacturer Sanyo in the months before its East Anglian factory closed was revealed last night.

Sanyo Industries UK stopped production at its School Road factory in Lowestoft in February with the loss of 60 jobs.

But accounts for the firm now show that Sanyo saw turnover fall sharply from £44.3m in 2007 to £7.4m last year as consumers turned to TV sets made by rival manufacturers and as the firm struggled to build a new trade in large screen public display monitors.

Sanyo Industries UK also suffered a pre-tax loss of £1.68m in the financial year ending March 2008, having recorded a modest £150,000 pre-tax profit the year before.

According to the accounts: "Throughout the financial year the directors have had growing concerns about the downturn in demand for our products, despite our investment in new product innovation.

"With the collaboration of Sanyo Japan Research and Development operation and other Sanyo group companies, we have developed a very large screen product for the European market. However, the target customers for the products are themselves experiencing severe financial constraints.

"As a result, they now appear to be unable to place the purchase orders envisaged only six months ago.

"A further issue for the directors is the cost of manufacturing in the UK. Our major competitors are producing similar products in low-wage economies, mainly located in the Far East.

"Despite the involvement on a global basis of Sanyo sales companies, we have been unable to attract sufficient orders for our products to enable to the company to remain viable and operate at a profit."

At its height, the Lowestoft factory produced about 500,000 a year and employed about 350 people.

The company set up business in the town in 1982 after buying the former Pye factory from Philips.

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