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Philips bids farewell to consumer technology

Philips has reportedly sold off its entire consumer tech division to concentrate on medical and lighting equipment.

Philips has reportedly sold off its entire consumer tech division to concentrate on medical and lighting equipment.

Philips audio cassette tape.(Credit: Retrothing.com)

After increasingly bad sales reports, Philips is reporting that it has sold its entire audio, video, multimedia and accessories division to Japanese company Funai Electric.

According to the WSJ, the Japanese manufacturer paid an "almost token fee" of just €150 million for the consumer tech portfolio, along with a brand-licensing fee.

The sale puts an end to Philips' 80 years in consumer technology. The Dutch company was once the world's biggest supplier of radios, and other milestones include the invention of the audio cassette, the first videocassette recorder and the launch of the compact disc.

Philips' medical division has been its greatest revenue producer for some time now, contributing 40 per cent of group revenue in the last quarter, with lighting making another 32 per cent.

Speaking in Amsterdam during the presentation of its financial results yesterday, Philips' chief executive Frans van Houten said:

Our consumer lifestyle division was margin dilutive to the group, so it was time to decide to move away from consumer electronics. Since we have online entertainment, people do not buy Blu-ray and DVD players anymore.