Philips Electronics, one of Europe's largest consumer electronics makers, posted a 79 percent drop in first-quarter net profit, citing weak sales in semiconductors and decreasing prices in flat-panel television screens.
Philips' earnings plunged to 117 million euros (approx. U.S. $151 million) in the 3 months ending March 31, from 550 million euros (approx. $715.8) in 2004. The figure was below market expectations and Philips' shares traded in Europe fell 3.4 percent to 19.33 euros (approx. $24.96).
CEO Gerard Kleisterlee said the cyclical nature of the technology sector weakened first-quarter results, but it was "encouraging to see another solid quarter, with steady performance and profitability in all our main businesses."
Sales were flat at 6.6 billion euros (approx. $8.6 billion) hurt by the strength of the euro against the dollar, the company said. Philips expects 5 percent to 6 percent sales growth in 2005. (Forbes.com, AP)
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