European Union
Frans van Houten
Jul 23
Philips Lighting
Philips Monday
Van Houten

Electronics giant Philips posts 15 percent leap Q2 profits

The Hague, Netherlands, Jul 23 – Dutch electronics giant Philips Monday posted a 15 percent hike in net profits for the second quarter, just months after listing its lighting division separately on the Amsterdam bourse.

Net profit from its continuing operations leaped to 186 million euros ($218 million) from April to June, compared to 161 million euros in the same period in 2017, the company reported.

Sales reached 4.3 billion euros, up some 4 percent on last year, Philips said, highlighting orders had also risen by 9.0 percent.

Best known for the manufacture of light bulbs, electrical appliances and television sets, the Amsterdam-based company has gradually pulled out of these activities in face of fierce competition from Asia.

It focuses now more on high-end medical and health technology, such as computer tomography and molecular imaging, as well as household appliances.

“I am pleased with the continued strong performance improvement of the diagnosis and treatment businesses, driven by the breadth of our innovative product portfolio,” chief executive officer Frans van Houten said in a statement.

The group, which sold its first light bulb a few years after it was founded in 1891, moved to list its Philips Lighting division, now known as Signify, in mid-2016 which joined the Amsterdam stock exchange, the top-tier AEX, in March this year.

Van Houten added the company, which employs more than 75,000 people in some 100 countries, stood by “our targets for the 2017–2020 period of 4-6 percent comparable sales growth.”

Earlier this month he warned Philips was closely watching the outcome of the negotiations to govern Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union in March 2019.

The group employs some 1,500 people in Britain, most notably at its baby care products-for-export factory at Glemsford in Suffolk.

“We estimate that the cost of the exported products will increase substantially under any scenario that is not maintaining the single customs union,” Van Houten said in a statement emailed to AFP in early July.

Any changes in current free trade agreements, the single customs union and current EU product certifications “is a serious threat to the competitiveness of this factory,” he added, warning “we need to do worst case scenario planning.”

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