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TV Giant Konka Posts First Loss in 20 Years
China's second largest television maker, Shenzhen Konka, posted its first loss in 20 years and blamed cutthroat price wars for its woes.

Konka reported a hefty net loss of 190.96 million yuan (US$23.1 million) in the six months to June 30, 2001, compared with a profit of 122.53 million yuan in the first half of 2000, the company said in a statement published in the Securities Times.

Losses per share were 0.3172 yuan compared to earnings of 0.2239 yuan per share a year earlier, the report said. The unaudited figures were the same under domestic and international accounting standards.

''The losses were mainly due to regular price wars in China's television industry,'' Konka spokesman Xu Hongjun said.

A price war in April over 29-inch colour televisions led to a loss of 110 million yuan, Mr Xu added.

China's television sector is plagued with over-capacity and huge inventories. Official figures show capacity has reached 40 million sets while demand remains at only half of that.

Analysts said they had expected Konka to post a loss after it issued a warning in late July, but the interim results were worse than their forecasts.

''The results are worse than expected,'' said Mou Xudong, an industry analyst at China Southern Securities.

''While industry woes are a constant factor, Konka apparently lagged behind in the technology for traditional television sets, making its products uncompetitive,'' he said.

Analysts said they expected Konka to continue to show a poor performance for the second half and possibly next year.

(China Daily 08/30/2001)

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