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Philips returns to profit, sells division

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THE HAGUE, Jan 29 AFP

January 29 2013, 7:04PM

Philips has reported 2012 net profits of 231 million euros ($A300 million), after losses of 1.29 billion euros in 2011.

The company also announced the sale of its entertainment business to focus on health products.

Company profits were hit by a loss of 355 million euros in the fourth quarter because of a one-off 509-million euro European Commission fine for cathode ray price fixing, Philips said in a statement on Tuesday.

Under the entertainment deal, Philips long-term partner Funai will pay 150 million euros plus an unspecified licence fee to use the Philips brand in audio, multimedia and accessories for an initial period of five and a half years, with an option to renew for five years.

That deal will be closed by the end of 2013, while the video business will be transferred in 2017 because of Philips' existing licence arrangements.

"With this transaction we are taking another step in reshaping the consumer lifestyle portfolio and transforming Philips into the leading technology company in health and well-being," Philips chief executive officer Frans van Houten said in a statement.

"I am confident that today's agreement with Funai, our partner for over 25 years, will create a promising future for Philips audio, video and entertainment, and continuity for our customers.

Funai CEO Tomonori Hayashi said: "This is truly an exciting time for us at Funai."

"We will benefit from Philips' legendary know-how and innovation, as well as the excellent talent they have in place around the world."

In April last year Philips sold its troubled television division to TPV Technology.