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China's TCL Corp. reports 57 percent drop in 2004 net profit
Updated: 2005-04-19 14:55

TCL Corp., one of China's largest consumer electronics makers, on Tuesday reported a 57 percent drop in 2004 net profit as earnings were dragged down by losses from its joint ventures with French partners.

TCL's net profit for 2004 fell to 245.2 million yuan (US$29.7 million; euro22.9 million) from 570.6 million yuan (US$69 million; euro53 million) in 2003, the company said.

TCL, which is based in Huizhou in southern China's Guangdong province, recorded 40.3 billion yuan (US$4.9 billion; euro3.8 billion) in core revenues last year, 42 percent higher than in 2003.

But an 80 percent surge in its operating and management expenses cut into its earnings, the company said. It said it expects to record a loss in the first quarter of 2005.

TCL's television and cell-phone manufacturing units, whose shares are traded in Hong Kong, reported their 2004 results Monday.

Television producer TCL Multimedia Technology Holdings, which has a joint venture with Thomson SA, said its net profit fell 51 percent in 2004 to 316.7 million Hong Kong dollars (US$40.6 million; euro31 million) from HK$641.8 million (US$82 million; euro63 million) in 2003.

TCL Communication Technology, the company's mobile phone handset-making unit that has a joint venture with Alcatel SA, reported a net loss of HK$223.5 million (US$29 million; euro22 million) for 2004, compared with a net profit of HK$784.2 million (US$100 million; euro77 million) in 2003.

Among its core businesses, TCL sold 16.7 million color televisions in 2004, up 43 percent from the previous year. The company said it plans to focus on flat-screen and other high-end televisions in the coming year.

Sales of TCL's own-brand mobile phones fell 24 percent to 7.5 million units in 2004.

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