Dutch electronics giant Philips posted net profits of 248 million euros in the first quarter of 2012, up from 138 million euros a year ago. After a difficult 2011, the 80 percent rise in profits on a yearly basis suggests a turnaround for the group, which made a loss of 1.3 billion euros last year.
The 2012 results, published on Monday, were influenced by a number of factors, including improved sales at its healthcare division, and the sale of its Senseo coffee-maker patent rights and of its High Tech Campus in Eindhoven.
The sale of the science park for 425 million euros at the end of March was purportedly the largest single-asset property transaction in the Netherlands. The business park was established in 1998 for all Philips’ national research and development activities. In 2003, it was opened to other technology companies.
Turnover for the group rose to 5.61 billion euros, up from 5.26 billion euros a year ago and beating the 5.4 billion euros forecast by analysts. CEO Frans van Houten issued a cautious forecast for the rest of 2012 despite the sales increase of seven percent:
"We remain cautious about the remainder of 2012 given the uncertainties in Europe, particularly in the healthcare and construction markets, and the slowing growth rate in the global economy."
Since taking the helm at Philips last year, Van Houten has introduced rigourous cost-cutting initiatives and management changes.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide