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Thomson Q4 Core Revenue Edges Upward

Paris — Growth of the core net business at French media and entertainment company Thomson moved up 0.8 percent in constant currency in the fourth quarter, hitting $2 billion, compared with a year-ago $1.9 billion.

The company’s core sales include a trio of businesses — services, systems and equipment, and technology.

Revenue in the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, was strong in technology, said Thomson. Growth in DVD services and set-top boxes were held back by a disappointing year-end, resulting in lower revenue, compared with the fourth quarter in 2004.

Among the core media and entertainment businesses are licensing revenue, home networking connectivity and DVD home entertainment and film services. Film had a strong quarter, said Thomson, but DVD services had a poor December, with a number of key titles slipping into 2006.

The core business systems and equipment segment, the company’s largest, recorded a 0.3 percent increase in revenue in the fourth quarter on a constant currency basis, reaching $882 million, from $834.2 million in the last quarter of 2004.

The company’s connectivity division, which includes CE accessories sold in the United States, remains a key area of focus, said Thomson. The company reported earlier that its audio and video accessories business within its connectivity segment is being shopped for sale, merger or a licensing agreement.

The company’s technology segment, which includes primarily licensing, saw fourth quarter revenue decrease 6.6 percent on a constant currency basis, to $204.7 million, from $216.6 million.

Consolidated Thomson group revenue for the fourth quarter rose to $2.1 billion, from $2 billion, but dipped to $1.98 billion in constant currency.

For the 12 months, consolidated revenue dropped to $6.8 billion, from $7.2 billion, but came in at $6.76 billion in constant currency.

Thomson, which will not report 12-month profit or loss until Feb. 23, expects to release positive profit numbers for its core business segment, while consolidated group figures will report a loss that reflects profit from the core business and losses from continuing non-core activities and discontinued operations.