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Corning to expand output of Gorilla Glass

Corning is in talks with several television manufacturers to use Gorilla Glass as an edge-to-edge cover glass in high-end televisions in the 40-inch and larger range.
It would be a major commercial b…

Corning is in talks with several television manufacturers to use Gorilla Glass as an edge-to-edge cover glass in high-end televisions in the 40-inch and larger range. It would be a major commercial breakthrough for the touch-screen glass, which is now used in some 80 different handheld devices and notebook computers. Announcement of an agreement could come at any time. Corning Inc. also is preparing to expand production of the touch-screen glass, now made in Harrodsburg, Kentucky, to a previously mothballed section of its factory in Shizuoka, Japan. The Harrodsburg plant is running at near full capacity as orders for the specialty glass continue to grow. Breaking into the large-size TV market would give Corning Inc. the opportunity to boost revenue from Gorilla Glass, which is expected to sell in the 2Q 2010 at a rate that would produce annual revenue of more than USD 200 million. In March 2010, it was selling at a rate that would generate annual sales of about USD 170 million. Corning Inc. is also nearing a decision on when and where it will locate glass melting factories in China to produce LCD glass. Chairman and chief executive officer Wendell Weeks told securities analysts that the only remaining questions are where and when the facilities will be built. “We are very closely engaged with the appropriate folks in China”, Weeks said. “We already have finishing operations in China. …We have said we will be melting in China as well. Now it is just simply a question of when and where. We would expect to make that decision this year”. Depending on what the Chinese government decides, Corning Inc. could build one or two factories there. China has one of the highest growth rates in the world for sales of LCD televisions. The manufacturing capacity Corning Inc. builds there would be used to meet demand in 2012 and beyond. With its anticipated movement into large-screen televisions and the planned expansion of production to Japan, Gorilla Glass could become one of Corning Inc.“s best-selling and most profitable products in the next decade.

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