Philips loss widens in Q4; sheds division
The fine, levied in December against Philips, LG Electronics, Panasonic and others, came after regulators concluded that the companies engaged in price fixing in the television market over two decades. Philips, which is fighting the fine, disposed of its television division to China's TPV Technology last year in a deal similar to the one announced Tuesday with Funai.
Overall, the company's fourth quarter net loss widened to €358 million from €162 million from the same period in 2011, with both years affected by big charges: in 2011 Philips wrote down the value of its lighting inventory and booked big losses on the now-disposed television arm. Despite its fourth quarter loss, the company made a net profit over 2012 of €226 million, a marked improvement on 2011's €1.3 billion.
In the 2012 period, sales grew 6.7 percent to €7.16 billion, but Philips said that would have been only 3 percent if recent acquisitions and currency effects were stripped out.
Since taking the top job at Philips in 2011, Van Houten has vowed to cut 6,700 jobs, or 5 percent of the company's workforce, by 2014, as part of a cost reduction drive.
He said "challenging" conditions in Europe and the U.S. in 2012 hit orders and as a result he expects 2013 sales to start slowly before picking up in the second half of the year.
Shares were down 0.2 percent in early trading to € 21.90.
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