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Tue, Oct 17, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Philips' Q3 net profit boosted by share disposal

EQUITY SALE The Dutch electronics giant gained US$5.3 billion from the sale of 80.1 percent of its semiconductor division to private equity companies


Royal Philips Electronics NV reported a sharp increase in third-quarter net profit yesterday, bolstered mainly by the sale of a majority stake in its semiconductor division.

Net profit was 4.24 billion euros (US$5.32 billion), up from 1.44 billion euros.

Sales increased 1 percent to 6.31 billion euros, missing the estimate of analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires, who forecast sales of 6.47 billion euros.

The sales figure may be the best measure of Philips' performance in the quarter, since both net profit and operating profit figures were distorted by major gains or charges in both years.

Sales and profits increased at Philips' medical and lighting divisions, its two most profitable arms.

However, revenue fell 5 percent at its consumer electronics division to 2.41 billion euros owing in part to slowing growth in sales of flat-panel displays.

Group operating profit was 25 million euros , down from 353 million euros including a charge of 265 million euros for "asbestos-related liabilities.''

Last year's net profit figure included contributions from the sale of various stakes in businesses such as TSMC, Atos Origin and Great Nordic.

Last month Philips booked gains of 4.19 billion euros from the sale of 80.1 percent of its semiconductor division to private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, Silver Lake Partners and AlpInvest Partners NV.

This quarter's earnings also include a loss of 89 million euros from its minority share in Philips.LG LCD.

On the downside, Philips fell 2.2 percent in early trading on the pan-European FTSEurofirst index of 300 leading shares after missing analysts' forecasts with its third-quarter report, although the company said its core operations performed well.

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