Philips, Europe's largest electronics manufacturer, swung to a profit in the third quarter, due mostly to its minority holdings in other companies.
Philips said it earned euro124 million (U.S. $144.5 million) in the July-September period in contrast to a net loss of euro330 million in the
third quarter of 2002. In the latest quarter, it booked profit of euro239 million ($278.6 million) from its stakes in, among others, Taiwan
Semiconductor Corp., Atos Origin of France and LG Philips LCD, its South Korean joint venture with LG Electronics Inc.
Philips blamed a 4-percent fall in sales to Euro6.99 billion ($8.15 billion) from euro7.31 billion on the weak dollar and the divestment of operations since last year. It said that without these factors sales would have risen 6 percent. Philips said it has cut costs and expects to make an operating profit in 2003. It said its semiconductor and consumer electronics divisions
would be profitable in the fourth quarter, after posting losses in the third quarter.
But the Amsterdam-based company was less optimistic for its North American consumer electronics arm, saying it would be "around break-even" in the fourth quarter, due to price erosion and competition. Philips had previously
said the subsidiary would make a profit. For the first 9 months of the year, Philips earned euro97 million ($113 million) in contrast to a loss of
euro1.676 billion a year earlier. Sales fell to euro20.0 billion ($23 billion) from euro22.9 billion. (Reuters)
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