Bloomberg News

Loewe Posts Full-Year Profit on Flat-Screen TV Demand (Update2)

January 23, 2006

Loewe AG (LOEK), a German television maker partly owned by Sharp Corp., reported an annual profit as demand for flat-screen televisions rose and the company cut costs.

Earnings before interest and taxes were 2 million euros ($2.5 million) in 2005, compared with a year-earlier 25.7 million-euro loss, the Kronach, Germany-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. Sales increased 19 percent, the first gain in three years, to 318 million euros.

Loewe has increased production of flat-screen TVs as Germans step up purchases, spurred in particular by this year's World Cup soccer championship in the country. The company, which has reduced marketing and advertising expenses and cut jobs to trim costs, raised its share of the European retail market for LCD-TVs to 4.9 percent from 1.9 percent.

The manufacturer forecast a second gain in full-year revenue, projecting sales this year of 330 million to 350 million euros and ebit of as much as 10 million euros. The company raised 25 million euros last year to fund growth as production increases.

Loewe said it expects sales to get a boost from an increase in the value-added tax and the IFA International Broadcasting Exposition in Berlin this year. A shortage of supply with LCD panels in the second half may cause the company to fail to fully meet demand for its products, the statement said.

The shares gained 15 cents, or 1 percent, to 14.65 euros after rising as much as 4.1 percent. The stock has climbed 69 percent in the last six months, the second-best performer on the SDAX Performance Index, which has risen 13 percent. Loewe has a market value of 192 million euros.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Donahue in Berlin at at pdonahue1@bloomberg.net; Stefanie Haxel in Frankfurt at shaxel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kimberly Kirner at kkirner@bloomberg.net; Chris Collins at collinsc@bloomberg.net


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