By Matthew Henry

TOKYO: Despite claiming the title as global flat TV market leader, Samsung Electronics will cease sales of flat panel TVs and audio visual products in Japan due to poor profitability for the brand, which has struggled to gain a foothold in that parochial market.

The Korean company, which enjoys global success with its LCD and plasma TVs, has struggled to gain a foothold for its audio visual products division in Japan against local manufacturers.

Senior Samsung executives in Japan today revealed that the company will no longer sell CE products such as LCDs and mp3 players direct to consumers, handing it over to local brands like Sony, Panasonic and Sharp.

Samsung Australia today confirmed the reports.

“Samsung will be withdrawing from the Japanese market in the AV category,” said the company in a brief statement to

“As the AV division in Japan is a very small portion of Samsung’s total revenue, the local team are scaling back to focus more on the B2B business.”

Samsung’s business-to-business (B2B) operation includes sales of flat screen computer monitors to businesses and supplying component ssuch as memory chips and LCD display panels.

Reports suggest Samsung’s presence in the Japanese consumer electronics market was limited to select shopfronts and an online store.

The Japanese market has a reputation for strong loyalty to local brands and homegrown products.

According to Associated Press, analysts believe quitting the Japanese market will have little effect on Samsung’s bottom line.