Philips has reached a settlement with the US authorities about suspected health issues with its breathing machines for people with sleep apnea and has agreed to suspend sales of all types in the US temporarily.
The company will continue to help US customers with repairs and spare parts but will only resume sales once the regulator has established that there are no further problems, the company said at the presentation of its 2023 earnings figures on Monday. The agreement, which only applies to the US, still needs to be approved by the courts.
The company has also set aside €363 million in write-offs associated with the problems. This is on top of the €575 million the company agreed earlier to settle court cases with US sleep apnea patients.
In 2021 Philips issued worldwide recall notices for 15 million devices that included polyester foam used to dampen the noise and which was found to have degraded during cleaning, exposing patients who inhaled the particles to an increased risk of cancer.
More recent versions use polyether foam, which does not degrade in the same way.
Philips booked full year sales of €18.1 billion, compared with €17.8 billion in 2022 and has also cut its losses from €1.6 billion in 2022 to €463 million last year. The company said it expects to deliver 3-5% comparable sales growth in 2024.
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