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TCL's 1H profit surges 70% on payroll cuts, LCD growth

Brisk appliance sales help offset weakness in mainstay smartphones

GUANGZHOU -- Chinese consumer electronics maker TCL's net profit jumped 70.7% on the year to 1.03 billion yuan ($153 million) for the six months ended June 30 as widespread layoffs lowered costs.

The company reduced staff at its headquarters by around 30% as part of a restructuring drive that began late last year, slashing administrative costs by 34% on the year. About 10,000 people were laid off groupwide, which lowered fixed costs by about 4%.

Sales rose 7.9% to 52.17 billion yuan, TCL reported Wednesday. Though the mobile device business fared poorly, with sales down 26% amid sluggish demand for TCL's bread-and-butter smartphones, strong showings elsewhere outweighed this dip.

Sales of liquid crystal display televisions and panels jumped 25% and 49%, respectively. Appliance sales climbed 36%, with volume growth of 34% in air conditioners and 16% in washing machines.

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