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Hix Leaves Planar, Q2 Loss Reported

4/30/2008 12:56:00 PM Eastern

Beaverton, Ore. — Planar, which became the corporate parent of the Runco and Vidikron last year, said in its second-quarter financial report Tuesday that home theater division head Scott Hix is leaving the company to pursue other interests.

Hix’s responsibilities will be assumed by Gerry Perkel, Planar’s CEO, who was said to be a Runco products user and admirer with a grasp on the home theater business.

Representatives for the company told TWICE that Hix’s departure was a mutual decision.

Planar reported a loss of $5.2 million in its second quarter with revenue of $69.8 million, reflecting a 28 percent growth rate.

The company reported a loss of $3.9 million, in the same quarter last year.

The higher loss this period was attributed to lower-than-expected growth in the home theater, control room and signage businesses.

To reduce costs and raise profitability, the company said it would be cutting about 80 full-time and temporary employees from its 788 man workforce.

The control room segment represents businesses Planar adopted through its acquisition of Clarity Visual Systems in 2006. The segment represented 17 percent of second-quarter revenue, and saw a 33 percent decline from first quarter of 2008.

The company will also look to modestly increase its investment the industrial display segment, which at 25 percent of total revenue represented one of the company’s strongest performance areas.

As discussed at the recent Runco Dealer Getaway, Planar acknowledged early problems in the integration of Runco with Planar, although many of those issues were said to have been rectified. The business has also seen challenges related to the economic downturn.

Perkel, who will take over as general manager of the unit, will look to restore growth, which declined 25 percent in revenue from the first quarter of 2008, and presented 16 percent of Planar’s revenue in second quarter. Some of the announced job cuts will come from Runco’s Union City, Calif., operations, the company said.

Planar said that revenue and profitability from home theater operations are expected to improve in the remaining half of the year.

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