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Philips admits first loss in six years

6,000 jobs cuts in 2009

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Royal Philips Electronics reported its first quarterly loss in nearly six years, prompting the consumer electronics giant to announce plans to cut 6,000 jobs worldwide in 2009.

The layoffs will come on top of the 3,000 cuts in the past quarter.

The Amsterdam-based company posted a Q4 loss of €1.47bn ($1.93bn, £1.39bn), compared to a profit of €1.40bn in the same period a year earlier.

Philips said the drop included the previously announced write-downs of €1.06bn in its stakes of LCD maker LG Display and NXP semiconductors.

The company also wrote down €232m of its stake in Lumileds, a lighting business it bought in 2005. Philips blamed the write-down on lower-than-anticipated demand for car, mobile-phone, and television markets.

Fourth-quarter sales were 7.62bn euros, down 8.9 per cent year-over year.

"Our fourth-quarter results confirm the expectation we expressed early December that the short-term economic outlook is worsening and that 2009 is likely to be a very challenging year," the company said in a statement.

Revenue for full-year 2008 was 26.4bn euros, down 1.5 per cent from 2007.

Philips certainly isn't the only major consumer electronics firm losing money in today's weak economy. The profit dump comes just a few days after Sony reported its first loss in 14 years and Samsung announced its first-ever quarterly loss. ®

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