Philips first quarter earnings better than expected

Electronics giant Philips booked better than expected results in the first three months of this year, helped by a number of one-offs.

Net profit was up 80% year-on-year, boosted by the sale of the Senseo brand rights to Sara Lee and the Eindhoven High Tech Campus business park to a private investor.
Like-for-like turnover rose 4% to €5.6bn and was up 9% in the healthcare division. Both net profit and turnover was higher than analysts had forecast.
‘I am encouraged by our results in the first quarter of 2012, which is a further step in the right direction for Philips on our path to value to achieve the mid-term 2013 financial targets,’ said CEO Frans van Houten in a statement. ‘Accelerate [the company’s restructuring programme] is beginning to impact the company’s performance, and cost-saving initiatives are on track.’
Nevertheless, Van Houten said he remained cautious about the remainder of 2012 given the uncertainties in Europe, particularly in the healthcare and construction markets, and the slowing growth rate in the global economy.

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