Philips Q3 earnings boosted by virus healthcare demand

THE HAGUE (AFP) – Dutch firm Philips said yesterday its third quarter net profit rose sharply as its health arm got a boost from demand driven by the coronavirus pandemic.

Net profit for the three months to September jumped more than 63 per cent from a year earlier to EUR340 million while sales were up 10 per cent at EUR5 billion, said the company which has diversified out of its traditional electrical appliances business into health.

“I am pleased that, under challenging circumstances, we have been able to execute our plans and return to growth and improved profitability,” CEO Frans van Houten said in a statement.

Van Houten highlighted the progress made by the medical division.

“It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over, and our teams remain fully focussed on delivering against our triple duty of care – meeting critical customer needs, safeguarding the health and safety of our employees, and ensuring business continuity,” he said.

Investors welcomed the figures and an accompanying upgrade to its 2021-25 sales forecast, pushing the shares up nearly four per cent in early trade on the Amsterdam stock market.

People visit the Philips stand at the IFA International consumer electronics in Berlin, Germany. PHOTO: AFP