Philips, the Dutch electronics group, on Monday said it would spin off its lossmaking television division into a joint venture with Chinese TV manufacturer TPV Technology.
The venture, which will have a licence to market TVs in Europe under the Philips brand, was the first big move by chief executive Frans van Houten, who took over on April 1.
这家合营企业是4月1日履新的飞利浦首席执行官万豪敦(Frans van Houten)第一个大手笔，企业将拥有在欧洲以飞利浦品牌经销电视的牌照。
Analysts had been pressing for Philips to do something about its TV business for months, particularly since it warned last month that TV sales would show a higher-than-expected loss in the first quarter. TVs made up 13 per cent of the company’s sales in 2010.
“We believe TV was the most negative element in the portfolio of the group, because it diluted margins, had a negative impact on top-line growth and also on the risk profile,” said Victor Bareno of SNS Securities.
“我们认为，电视业务是该集团所有业务组合中最具负面效应的环节，因为它稀释了利润率，对收入增长和风险结构造成了负面影响，”荷兰SNS证券公司(SNS Securities)分析师维克托•巴雷诺(Victor Bareno)表示。
The company had licensed out its TV business in China and North America in previous years but Gerard Kleisterlee, the previous chief executive, had been determined to keep the European business in Philips’ hands.
Mr Bareno said TPV Technology, based in Hong Kong, was a logical partner as it was one of Philips’ key outsourcing partners. TPV said the deal would give it an important gateway to consumers in Europe and South America. “We see this as a good opportunity for us to enter the European markets. TV is a consumer electronics product so we need a strong brand like Philips to introduce us to these consumers,” said Shan Tyau, vice-president of corporate finance.
TPV has traditionally sold computer monitors under its own brand AOC.
Mr Tyau said he did not anticipate problems from the acquisition as TPV and Philips have worked together for about six years. In 2005, TPV acquired two manufacturing plants from Philips (both in China) and a research centre in Taiwan. In 2009, TPV took over Philips’ global PC monitor business.
Martin Prozesky, of Sanford Bernstein, meanwhile, said the TV business would probably continue to lose market share but called the deal “pretty reasonable”. “My expectation is they [Philips] will not be likely to get a lot of value out of [the joint venture],” he said.
与此同时，Sanford Bernstein公司的马丁•普罗泽斯基(Martin Prozesky)表示，电视业务恐怕会继续丧失市场份额，但称此笔交易“颇为合理”。“我预期，他们（飞利浦）不太可能从（合营企业）获得太大价值，”他说道。
Philips announced the deal along with its first-quarter results for 2011. The group reported sales of €5.26bn ($7.5bn) in the first quarter, up 6 per cent from a year earlier or 4 per cent on a comparable basis.
Net profit was €138m, down 31 per cent from the first quarter of 2010, including a loss of €87m at the TV division, which the company treats as a discontinued operation.
Earnings per share were €0.14, down 36 per cent on year. The company declared a dividend expense of €711m relating to a payment of €0.75 per share on its 2010 earnings.
Philips’ healthcare division showed comparable sales growth of 5 per cent year-on-year, while the lighting division saw sales grow 5 per cent on a comparable basis.
Sales in emerging markets grew 11 per cent on a comparable basis. In a conference call with analysts, Ron Wirahadiraksa, chief financial officer, warned of “substantial headwinds” in 2011 from the Japan disaster.