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Thomson Q3 Core Sales Increase 1%

Paris — Core net sales at Thomson edged upward 1 percent in the third quarter, hitting $1.80 billion, compared with a year-ago $1.77 billion. Core sales at the French media and entertainment company include business in three segments — services, systems and equipment, and technology.

Thomson said its services segment, the second largest among core businesses, climbed 12 percent in the third quarter, helped by “promising growth in digital and electronic-driven businesses.” Sales reached $776.3 million, compared with $690.9 million in the year-ago period.

Among the core media and entertainment businesses are licensing revenue, home networking connectivity, and DVD home entertainment and film services.

The core business systems and equipment segment, the company’s largest, saw revenue decrease by 9 percent in the third quarter, ended Sept. 30. Sales slipped to $871.4 million, down from $948.4 million.

In the segment’s connectivity division, which includes CE accessories sold in the United States, “actions to improve both short and longer term performance of the audio/video part of the business are starting to take effect,” said Thomson, but the company’s connectivity arm still showed a year-on-year decline in the quarter. Synergies between connectivity and the rest of the systems and equipment segment remain a key area of focus, said Thomson.

The company’s technology segment, which includes primarily licensing, increased third-quarter sales by 15 percent, rising to $139.6 million from a year-on-year $121.6 million. Licensing revenue in the third quarter jumped 23 percent year-over-year, to $114.3 million, from $93.9 million in the same three months in 2004. Thomson attributed this to a strong performance to digital programs, such as DVD, and successes renewing older licensing programs, notably in emerging markets.

Consolidated Thomson group revenue for the third quarter decreased to $1.9 billion from a year-ago $2.2 billion. The company does not report earnings after the first and third quarters, only following the first half and after year-long revenue has been totaled.