Philips sales hit by COVID-19, respirator recall

THE HAGUE (AFP) – Dutch health technology firm Philips posted big drops in fourth quarter sales and profit yesterday, as a faulty respirator recall and supply chain issues weighed on the company.

The Amsterdam-based firm, which last year sold off its domestic appliance arm to focus on medical equipment, said sales came in at EUR4.9 billion (USD5.5 billion) in October through December, a 10 per cent drop compared to a year earlier.

Fourth quarter profits fell from EUR607 million to EUR151 million.

“Sales were impacted by several headwinds,” Philips Chief Executive Frans van Houten said in a statement.

These were “supply chain challenges, postponement of equipment installations in hospitals related to COVID-19, and the consequences of the Respironics field action,” Van Houten said.

Philips has set aside a further EUR725 million for a recall of faulty respiratory equipment that puts users at risk of inhaling toxic foam.

“Patient well-being is at the heart of everything we do at Philips,” Van Houten said.

Philips Healthcare headquarters in Netherlands. PHOTO: CNA