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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Philips Profit Jumps on Low Taxes

AMSTERDAM -- Technology conglomerate Royal Philips Electronics reported Monday that its fourth-quarter net profit more than doubled due to one-time gains and lower tax costs, even as sales slipped due to weakness at its consumer electronics division.

Philips, which also makes high-end medical equipment, light bulbs and household appliances, posted a net profit of £680 million ($882 million), up from £332 million one year earlier, when the company paid a one-time tax charge of £240 million on shares it holds in Taiwan-based chipmaker TSMC.

The earnings included an additional one-time gain of ?129 million from the sale of its semiconductor division, which was bought by a consortium of private investors led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. in August.

Fourth-quarter sales fell by less than 1 percent to£8.13 billion from£8.19 billion -- but Philips restated the year-earlier figures from £9.52 billion to reflect the sale of the semiconductor division.

Philips' CEO Gerard Kleisterlee said in a statement that after the sale of the chip division, Philips was entering "a new period in the company's history" in which earnings would be less volatile.

"This transaction completed efforts to transform Philips into a stable company built around our brand, with leading market positions in virtually all areas in which it is active," he said.

Philips shares fell 0.7 percent to £29.17 in Amsterdam trading.

Sales fell 6 percent to £3.26 billion at the company's consumer electronics division, still its largest by sales, "where focus remains on margin generation," Philips said. The division reported operating profit up 10 percent to £259.