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Infineon Technologies Reports Wider Third-Quarter Loss

Computer chipmaker Infineon Technologies said Friday its third-quarter loss widened, a drop blamed on falling prices for memory chips industry wide.

The Munich-based company said it lost 197 million euros ($270 million) in the quarter that ended June 30, worse than the 146 million euros analysts polled by Dow Jones had expected, and greater than the 23 million euros loss a year earlier.

Sales fell 11% to 1.75 billion euros from 1.97 billion euros a year earlier, failing to meet the 180 billion euros (US$247 billion) that analysts had predicted.

Infineon said the loss, its ninth quarterly loss in the last 10 quarters, was largely due to results from its flagging personal computer chip memory maker unit Qimonda, which earlier this week said it lost 218 million euros in the quarter, compared with a profit of 54 million euros a year ago.

But the German chipmaker also noted progress made at its flagging wireless business which had been buffeted by the bankruptcy of Taiwanese cell phone maker BenQ.

"Infineon excluding Qimonda made further progress toward sustainable profitability," Infineon Chief Executive Wolfgang Ziebart said in a statement. "Going forward, we aim for further improvements in our (earnings before interest margin), and we will continue to strengthen our core businesses."

Excluding Qimonda, Infineon said it posted a pretax profit of 13 million euros compared with a loss of 51 million euros a year earlier, with sales up 2% 1.01 billion euros compared to 995 million in 2006.