The Dutch group Philips Electronics NV said this morning that its net profits excluding exceptional items in 2000 reached 2.564 billion euros, a 42% increase on a year earlier, because of favorable economic conditions and a strong dollar.

When items such as the sale of Seagram shares within the framework of the Vivendi Universal deal are factored in, the profit soared to 9.602 billion euros, a group record.

Earnings per share, excluding one-off items, rose to 1.95 euros per share, from 1.31 euros in 1999. Sales for the year were up by 20% at 37.86 billion euros for an operating profit, excluding exceptional items, of 2.9 billion euros.

Philips fixed a new medium-term target of 10% sales growth annually, and hopes to see operating profit reach at least 8% of sales, it said in a statement.

Revenue in 2000 was especially strong in the semi-conductors division, with a 55% rise from the previous year, to 5.879 billion euros. Sales of consumer electronics goods also advanced by 18% to 14.68 billion euros, giving a balanced result in the telecommunications branch, the company said.

Philips sold 13 million mobile telephones in Asia and Europe, the company added.