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Philips Electronics

(PHG) - Get Koninklijke Philips N.V. NY Registry Shares Report

said it lost 2.6 billion euros in 2001, a somewhat worse result than analysts had forecast, and made cautious comments about the current year.

The Dutch electronics giant said sales fell 15% to 32.34 billion euros in 2002 from 37.86 billion euros for 2000. The loss in the latest year includes a restructuring charge of 1.7 billion euros, while 2000 included a gain of 9.6 billion euros. The company posted an operating loss of 1.37 billion euros, compared with an operating profit of 4.28 billion euros for the prior year.

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"In general, we do not see markets strengthening. Therefore, we maintain a cautious stand on costs, capital spending, working capital and employment in 2002," the company said. Nevertheless, in a subsequent conference call, company officials said they expected to turn a profit in 2002.

Philips' consumer-electronics segment had fourth-quarter sales of 3.25 billion euros, down 19%. Its semiconductors unit had sales of 940 million euros in the fourth quarter, a fall of 44% from a year earlier but up 5% on the third quarter.