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Monday, October 25, 2004
Philips: No plans to drop consumer electronics

Royal Philips Electronics said on Wednesday it had no plans to abandon consumer electronics, its largest activity.

"We have no plans to abandon consumer electronics," a Philips representative said, after German newspaper Die Welt quoted the company's Chief Executive Gerard Kleisterlee as saying parts of the consumer electronics activities may be divested or closed.

"It's natural for a company to examine specific activities on an ongoing basis with respect to competitiveness and profitability. That goes for the entire company," the representative said.

Philips consumer electronics unit generates the largest portion of sales, but has consistently low profit margins. European rival Thomson has put its consumer electronics production in a venture with China's TCL.

Kevin Rollins, the CEO of technology maker Dell, said the consumer electronics sector was "fundamentally challenged," in an interview with He added that the largest consumer electronics manufacturers were "doing terrible."

Philips is the world's biggest lighting maker, a top three hospital equipment maker, Europe's biggest consumer electronics producer and the region's No. 3 in semiconductors.

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