TCL Multimedia Technology Holdings, the world's biggest television maker by unit sales, said net loss last year shrank 90 per cent after it completed the restructuring of its unprofitable European business. Including a one-off fair value gain on derivatives of HK$241 million, last year's loss was HK$262 million, compared with HK$2.5 billion in 2006. Sales fell 27 per cent to HK$21.3 billion. 'We cannot forecast when we will turn into a profit but we are continuously improving our operations,' said TCL Multimedia chief executive Leong Yue-wing. The company last year closed its European operation after years of losses as consumer preferences changed towards the traditional cathode-ray-tube televisions that it produced. The unprofitable unit was inherited from a venture with France's Thomson Group, the firm's first big overseas push. 'TCL Multimedia's income figures improved a lot after it wrote off the loss-making business in Europe last year,' said Kenny Tang Sing-hing, an associate director at Tung Tai Securities. 'However, the company's margin will not significantly improve as the global LCD TV market is still very competitive.' The company plans to boost sales of liquid-crystal-display televisions this year with the aim of moving into the world's top 10 from its ranking as No13. It wants to sell 4.2 million units this year, compared with 1.4 million last year, but this target still pales in comparison with the 8.44 million units sold in the first nine months of the year by Samsung Electronics, the world's biggest maker, according to research by Hong Kong-listed TPV Technology, which is ranked No6 worldwide. Sharp and Sony ranked second and third-largest in the world's LCD television market, while other key players included LG Electronics and Royal Philips Electronics. Shenzhen-based TCL targets combined sales of LCD models and traditional televisions at 14.68 million units, against 15.01 million units last year. Sales of home networking products - which include DVD players - rose 35 per cent to HK$3 billion last year. Mr Leong said the company had been making digital photo frames for a few months and targeted output of at least 200,000 units this year. 'We will have a significant investment in the second half to enhance our supply chain but we cannot disclose it now,' Mr Leong said. Shares in TCL Multimedia fell 2.17 per cent to close at 45 HK cents yesterday.