Leading global computer monitor maker TPV Technology will diversify into high-end television sets to ride out an impending cyclical slowdown in the industry. The company said the global display market was projected to shrink after next year. Announcing the firm's interim result yesterday, TPV chairman Jason Hsuan said the slowdown would be caused by a more than 10 per cent decline in the selling price of desktop personal computers and the slower growth of the mainland's fledgling middle class. To cushion the impact, the firm will spend US$3 million to $4 million adapting part of its existing assembly lines to the mass production of liquid crystal display (LCD) TVs and plasma models. The TV sets are already on trial production. The mainland's personal computer display output is forecast to increase a moderate 9.4 per cent to 57.11 million units this year, far slower than the 27.8 per cent growth last year. Exports of computer monitors will edge up just 1.9 per cent to 43.5 million units, compared with 32.5 per cent last year. Director Shane Tyau estimated demand for LCD TVs would start picking up next year, when their selling prices fell to about 2.5 times those of conventional cathode-ray-tube (CRT) models. An LCD TV now costs about six times that of a CRT model. 'TV production should be able to start contributing profit by 2005,' said Mr Tyau. The firm posted 12 per cent year-on-year growth in net profit to US$30.09 million for the six months to June. Turnover rose 12.8 per cent to $803.07 million. TPV, the world's second-largest manufacturer of computer monitors after Samsung Electronics, will share the TV research and development costs with BOE Technology Group, the mainland's upstream panel manufacturer. BOE became TPV's largest shareholder by taking a 26.4 per cent stake last month. The partnership is thought to help bolster new product development for TPV, in particular its future expansion into the LCD and plasma TV segments.