Philips shedding HDTV business amid dire losses

Philips may be producing some of the more curious HDTVs around at the moment – its Cinema 21:9 range of super-widescreen sets, such as the most recent Gold model, are particularly eye-catching – but it seems converting that curiosity to purchases continues to escape the company. According to Philips' latest financial release [pdf link], it will be spinning off TV production to a joint-business with existing partner display manufacturer TPV, leaving it with just 30-percent of the company.

"Finding a solution for our Television business was our top priority and we strongly believe that the intended 30% / 70% joint venture with TPV that was announced today will enable a return to profitability for the Television business, and an increased portfolio focus for Philips in health and well-being. Philips has been active in the TV industry for many decades and the long-term strategic partnership with TPV shows our commitment to the continuity of Philips televisions for our consumers and trade partners.

The joint venture leverages the innovation and brand strength of Philips with the scale and manufacturing strength of TPV. Philips will receive a deferred purchase price and brand license income as part of the agreement. We expect certain costs in relation to the separation which will impact short-term earnings." Philips statement

In six years time, meanwhile, Philips will have to option to shift the final 30-percent to TPV. The company already licenses Philips TVs in China, while Funai does the same in the US. It's unclear whether the same line of Cinema 21:9 sets will continue going forward – or, indeed, use Philips' Ambilight technology – in an attempt to make the HDTV business profitable again.

Philips has reported a €87m loss in its television business for the past quarter, down from €7m profit in the same period one year ago. Overall net income for the company was €137m, with particular growth in lighting such as the Philips Living Colors lamp range.