Thomson 1st Quarter CE Sales Slide 20%

By Jeff Malester On Apr 21 2003 - 6:00am

Sales in Thomson's consumer products division dropped to $775.4 million in the first quarter, down 20 percent from the $1.1 billion recorded in the year-ago period, and down 30.4 percent including the impact of currency effects. The company did not provide profit figures for the first quarter.

U.S. revenue at Thomson during the first quarter was impacted by low consumer confidence, significant retailer de-stocking and the significant growth of imports from China, said Thomson.

For the second quarter, Thomson said it remains focused on sales in its consumer products division, namely higher end televisions, and extended retail placement of its Scenium and digital product lineup in the United States.

The company also is focused on new digital home theater systems and a new range of DVD combo products. In communications, a new 5.8Ghz line of phones and a small office/home office line of RCA-brand products will be launched.

In addition, Thomson said it is accelerating its cost reduction program, to "improve processes and systems throughout its [consumer products division's] activities."

Weaker finished consumer goods and component sales in the United States contributed to Thomson's overall 12 percent sales drop in the first quarter. The company recorded $2.1 billion in sales for the three months, compared with $2.7 billion in the year-ago period.

Including the foreign exchange impact of $303.5 million, Thomson's first quarter sales declined 23 percent. In February, Thomson had said its sales would drop 10 percent at constant exchange rates.

Looking ahead, Thomson said some of the negatives of the first quarter would not move into the second three months, mainly the significant de-stocking in U.S. consumer channels. New initiatives in product will drive overall second quarter growth to an expected $2.3 billion to $2.5 billion in sales.

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