Philips reports Euro57m first quarter loss

Dutch electronics giant Philips on Tuesday reported a €57-million net loss for the first quarter of 2009 and warned the economic crisis would further hurt business in the months ahead.

The loss was accompanied by a 17-percent decline in sales to €5.1-billion. Philips saw net profit of €294-million during the same period last year.

The results correspond to forecasts from eight analysts questioned by Dow Jones Newswires who predicted a figure between a net loss of €98-million and a net profit of €28-million.

"In the first quarter of 2009 we have seen a significant further deterioration of our markets," CEO Gerard Kleisterlee said in a statement.

"While the effects were felt most strongly in our activities that cater to the consumer market and to the construction and automotive industries, our healthcare sales are now impacted as well. We expect no material change to this situation in quarter two."

A cost-reduction programme launched last year that includes cutting 6 000 jobs will allow the company to save €500-million at year’s end instead of 400 million as previously reported, Kleisterlee said.

It reported a loss before interest, tax and amortisation (Ebita) of €74-million compared to a profit of €265-million in the first quarter of last year.

The company said that it had 5 126 fewer jobs in the first quarter than the previous one due to both structural changes and seasonal reductions.

Philiips’ sales slide has come with the global economic crisis taking a toll on demand.

Its medical unit sales were down two percent, the company said, while consumer electronic sales dropped 25 percent to €1.8-billions.

Lighting division sales fell 19 percent to €1.5-billion.

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Philips reports Euro57m first quarter loss