Philips will hand over the majority of its European television manufacturing operation to a Chinese company. The deal sees the creation of a new company for making the TVs, of which Philips will only own 30 percent, but will still have its name on the televisions. Philips has been making TVs for 80 years.
Frans van Houten, Philips chief executive, said: “I can still can remember when the first Philips TV came into our house in 1966. I was a little boy. So it’s very emotional and important for me. Philips is a very strong brand so in looking for a solution, we focused on continuity.”
Analysts were concerned that Philips loss-making TV division was dragging down the the group’s results. The Dutch company sells significantly fewer flatscreens than its competitors and already licensed out production in the US and China.
Philips will now concentrate on more profitable areas – such as healthcare equipment where sales rose this year by 35 million euros. It is forecasting that the TV venture will earn it at least 50 million euros annually from 2013.