Philips sees ‘uncertainty’ due to Covid in 2021

THE HAGUE (AFP) – Dutch electronics giant Philips said yesterday it saw “uncertainty” this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, as net profit for 2020 rose 1.9 per cent.

The company, now focussed on healthcare after decades as a key home appliances and lighting player, had sales of EUR19.5 billion (USD23.7 billion) in 2020, up 0.27 per cent on 2019.

“Looking ahead, we continue to see uncertainty related to the impact of COVID-19 across the world,” Philips Chief Executive Frans van Houten said in a statement.

“For 2021, Philips plans to deliver low-single-digit comparable sales growth, driven by solid growth in diagnosis and treatment and personal health.”

Philips said net income in the fourth quarter of 2020 rose 9.17 per cent year-on-year to EUR607 million.

Philips said in January 2020 that it would sell off its home appliance arm over the coming year-and-a-half to fully concentrate on health sector products. PHOTO: AGENCY

The firm signed deals with 25 hospitals in the United States (US), Europe and Asia in the final quarter and expanded remote “telehealth” services for consumers at home,
it said.

Total 2020 net profit hit EUR1.19 billion compared to EUR1.17 billion in 2019.

Van Houten said Philips’s performance was “resilient” because of a “stronger performance in the second half of the year, following a challenging first half due to the impact of COVID-19”.

In December, Philips said it was buying US remote cardiac monitoring firm BioTelemetry for USD2.8 billion (EUR2.3 billion).

Philips said in January 2020 that it would sell off its home appliance arm over the coming year-and-a-half to fully concentrate on health sector products.