Thursday 04 March 2021

Philips to spin off domestic appliance unit, focus on healthcare technology

Philips at a radiology trade fair in December. Photo: Philips

Dutch electronics giant Philips is to spin off its domestic appliance division to focus purely on health technology and personal care items.

The company has started creating a separate legal structure for its domestic appliances division, which booked sales of €2.3bn last year, and expects this process to be completed within a year to 18 months.

The unit, which includes air fryers and coffee makers, has made ‘a very important contribution to Philips’ chief executive Frans van Houten said in a statement.

‘However this business is not a strategic fit for our future as a health technology leader,’ he said. ‘We are committed to finding a good home for this business to continue to thrive and grow over time, as we expand and invest in our consumer health and professional healthcare related businesses.’

Philips made the announcement at the publication of its 2019 figures. The company saw like-for-like full year sales rise 4.4%% to €19.5bn. Income from continuing operations was down slightly at €1.2bn.

Houten said ‘headwinds’ were to blame for the company’s failure to meet its profitability improvement target.

In 2016, Philips spun off its lighting activities, which are now bourse-listed under the name Signify. The company’s roots date back 130 years to the light bulb business founded by Frederik and Gerard Philips in 1891 in Eindhoven.

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