Planar Systems has no qualms about making a public display. The
company makes custom, embedded, and video wall displays used in
such applications as vehicle dashboards, instrumentation, security
monitoring, and retail systems. Planar also sells desktop monitors
and home theater systems. Its products -- marketed under the
Planar, Clarity, and Runco brands -- include matrix and mosaic LCD
systems, flat-panel displays, rear-project cube displays, touch
monitors, and theater front-projection systems. The company serves
consumers, as well as clients in the retail, industrial,
transportation, and education industries, among others. It
generates most of its sales in the US.
Sales and Marketing
Planar sells directly to consumers and original equipment
manufacturers, but is focused on reseller channels.
The company has sales offices in North America, Europe, and
Asia and manufacturing facilities in Finland, France and North
America. It gets more than two-thirds of its sales in the US.
Planar reported sales for fiscal 2012 (ended September) of $171
million, down about 8% from 2011. The net loss of $16 million that
year was down from a loss of nearly $5 million the previous year.
Growth in the company's strong digital signage segment (driven by
LCD video wall systems and LCD commercial flat panels) was not
enough to offset a 13% decline in sales from its commercial and
industrial segment as demand decreased for high-end home theater
products, electroluminescent displays, and rear-project cubes.
▲ Show Less▼ Show Full Description
The company is increasingly focused on its fast-growing digital
signage business as the commercial and industrial markets it serves
are mature and don't offer the same opportunities. To that end, it
has been divesting operations (such as the late 2012 sale of its
electroluminescent business to Beneq for about $6.5 million) to
sharpen its focus on digital signage and interactive display. The
company also continues to target new specialty niche applications
for digital signage such as large venue viewing, ruggedized outdoor
displays, and touch applications.