Philips earnings grow in the fourth quarter in all divisions on better margins; sales rise

AMSTERDAM – Royal Philips NV has reported a return to profitability in the fourth quarter, with operating profits up in all its main businesses: lighting, consumer appliances and health care equipment.

The company Tuesday reported net profit of 409 million euros ($559 million), compared to a loss of 423 million euros in the same period a year earlier when it was fined 509 million euros for price-fixing in the TV market. Fourth quarter sales rose 0.6 per cent to 6.80 billion euros, which Philips would have been a 7 per cent rise comparing like-for-like businesses and stripping currency effects.

Despite an upbeat review of the company’s quarterly performance, CEO Frans van Houten said he is “cautious” heading into the new year, given a “softer order intake” in the fourth quarter and macroeconomic uncertainties.