Larry Mitchell
Jeff Chiu  /  AP file
Larry Mitchell walks past flat-panel televisions at Circuit City in Daly City, Calif.  First quarter profit at the electronics retailer exceeded Wall Street's expectations as it benefited from booming sales of flat-panel televisions.
updated 8/16/2006 2:02:58 PM ET 2006-08-16T18:02:58

Sales of flat panel televisions, including both LCD and plasma versions, more than doubled during the first half of the year compared with the prior-year period, according to a market research company.

Sales of flat panel TVs soared during the January through June period to more than $4 billion, according to the NPD Group.

Overall, sales of consumer technology — which includes information technology, imaging, audio, video, telecommunications and consumables — climbed almost 5 percent to more than $48 billion during the six-month period versus last year.

Notebook computer sales rose 17 percent to more than $7 billion dollars, while sales of portable digital players increased 34 percent to more than $2.2 billion.

Digital cameras saw an almost 9 percent rise over the year-ago period to more than $2.7 billion in sales.

Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD, said in a statement that special events such as the Super Bowl, graduations, Father's Day and Mother's Day helped lift sales in the first half of the year.

"Based on what we've seen so far, we are expecting strong growth for the rest of 2006 with back-to-school, Black Friday and holiday season consumer technology sales poised to be even more robust than last year," he added.

The sales results are based on results reported by NPD's online consumer panel of more than 3 million consumers. The responding sample is demographically weighted and projected to represent the total U.S. population.

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