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$5M Operating Loss At Thomson In Half

Reflecting, in large part, a decline in profitability of its Broadband business, the Consumer Products division of Thomson Multimedia reported a $37.9 million drop in operating income during the first half of 2002. The division reported an operating loss of $5 million for the first six months, compared with operating income of $32.9 million in the first half of 2001.

Revenue in Thomson’s Consumer Products division, which includes mainstream RCA consumer electronics products, decreased 13 percent during the first half, reaching $2.8 billion, down from $3.1 billion in the first six months of last year.

Thomson blamed much of the division’s woes on a sharp decline in sales of broadcast access products during the first half, with the company selling 2.3 million set-top boxes and cable modems, down from 3.1 million units in the year-ago period. DSL modems are excluded from the totals.

Following a particularly difficult 2001, Thomson reported signs of stability within its consumer retail markets. In particular, losses in the U.S. high-end segment were reduced substantially.

Volume in high-end televisions improved, more than offsetting price declines. Audio volume declined significantly less than the market, while communications products gained in volume and value market share, said Thomson. .

Overall sales at Thomson climbed by less than 1 percent in the second quarter, reaching $2.49 billion, compared with $2.48 billion in the same period last year.