Tokyo:Japan’s Konica Minolta Holdings Inc said on Tuesday it would start output at its new factory in Japan that makes high-tech film used in LCD panels by autumn 2010 due to a strong recovery in panel and TV demand.
Konica Minolta had planned to begin production at the new plant in autumn 2009, but the company late last year decided to delay the start-up as the global downturn forced panel makers to cut output.
Konica Minolta dominates the global market for triacetyl cellulose (TAC) film, which protects the polarisation plates used in LCD panels, with bigger rival Fujifilm Holdings Corp.
“LCD demand has recovered sunstantially since spring. Going forward, the replacement of cathode-ray tube models will likely help LCD TV demand grow steadily despite current economic conditions,” Konica Minolta executive officer Masami Akiyama told a group of reporters.
Konica Minolta, which also competes with Canon Inc and Ricoh Co Ltd in producing copiers and printers, plans to spend ¥18 billion ($194 million) to build the new factory, which will be capable of making 50 million square metres of TAC film a year.
Shares in Konica Minolta closed the morning up 6.2% at ¥924, climbing back to the level hit before Akiyama’s comments. The Tokyo stock market’s electrical machinery index rose 3.4%.