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Thomson Reports Excellent Sales, Profit Gains In 1st Half

PARIS — Thomson Multimedia, marketers in the United States of the RCA, GE and Proscan consumer electronics brands, reported strong first-half sales and profits while reporting revenues for its new media services business for the first time.

For the half ending June 30 Thomson reported $3.86 billion in sales (converted from euros) and 45 percent gain, while profits were up $159 million, a 108 percent increase. The operating margin increased from 2.9 percent to 4.1 percent and the net margin almost doubled, from 1.1 percent for last year’s first half to 2.1 percent.

Thomson said that after 18.9 percent growth during calendar year 1999 “this performance clearly highlights the strong growth” of the company’s different businesses, Thomson said. Its performance in the United States was cited, and excluding the favorable impact of the exchange rate, revenue grew 32.6 percent.

The company’s strong operating results and increased margin has been driven by growth in revenues, “especially high-end products, the result of restructuring and reengineering programs initiated since 1997.”

Revenues by product category for the first half breakdown this way: displays & components, $731 million, up 43.9 percent; consumer products, $2.98 billion, up 45.8 percent; new media services, $950,000, the first revenue from that category; and patents & licensing, $146 million, up 33.7percent.

Sales of consumer products were “driven particularly” by digital products, which represent 30 percent of the business’ revenues. Other highlights in consumer products include:

  • 3.1 million set-top boxes were shipped during the half, the equivalent of calendar year 1999. The company cited strong demand for DirecTv in the U.S.
  • In digital cable modems the group shipped more than 200,000 units, primarily in the U.S.
  • And also in the U.S. Thomson experience growth in audio and communications products, with the latter becoming the market leader in home telephones, through ATLINKS, the joint venture with Alcatel.

Concerning new media services, the company has deployed electronic guides in more than 2.5 million television, which attracted a number of advertisers, including the major U.S. TV networks and car manufacturers, the company said.