Philips lifts 2021 forecast as Q1 sales soar amid pandemic By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Logo of Dutch technology company Philips is seen at its company headquarters in Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Philips on Monday posted a hefty jump in quarterly profit and nudged its expectations for 2021 higher as the coronavirus pandemic drives demand for its hospital equipment and personal health appliances.

The Dutch health technology company said core earnings surged 74% in the first quarter to 362 million euros ($438 million) on a 9% rise in comparable sales, easily beating analysts’ expectations.

“Our performance gained momentum with a strong sales growth and profitability improvement, with all business segments and markets contributing,” Chief Executive Frans van Houten said.

The results compared with analysts’ expectations of 326 million euros in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation (EBITA) and a 6% rise in comparable sales.

Philips, which sells products ranging from electrical toothbrushes to medical imaging systems, said it now expects “low-to-mid-single-digit comparable sales growth” for 2021, up from earlier guidance for low growth.

Net profit remained stable at 40 million euros in the first quarter, as Philips made a 250 million euros provision to deal with risks it has detected in some of its respiratory care devices.

Last year’s results were restated to reflect the 3.7 billion euro sale of Philips’ household appliances business to Hillhouse Capital announced last month.

($1 = 0.8260 euros)

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