Philips Q1 sales flat, imaging sales decline

Philips Healthcare reported a 1% decline in sales in its imaging systems division in its 2013 first quarter (end-March 31), as weaknesses in Western Europe and North America affected the company.

The healthcare division overall had sales of 2.127 billion euros after adjusting for currency changes, down 1% compared with 2.209 billion euros in the first quarter of 2012. Sales in the division's Imaging Systems unit fell at a rate in the high single digits.

The division's sales in mature markets fell 1%, with declines in the midsingle digits in North America and Europe, while sales in other mature markets showed double-digit growth. Sales in growth geographies fell 2% on a currency-adjusted basis, with growth in the high single digits in China and low single digits in Latin America. This was offset by double-digit declines in Russia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe.

Earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization (EBITA) in the healthcare division were 222 million euros in the most recent period, compared with 202 million euros in the same period of 2012. EBITA margin improved to 10.4% of sales, compared with 9.1% in the same quarter the previous year.

The equipment orders in the healthcare division's Patient Care & Clinical Informatics and Imaging Systems units showed a decline. Equipment orders fell at a high-single-digit rate due to weak markets in Western Europe, while orders in North America showed a double-digit decline, reflecting the continued market uncertainties, according to the company. Orders in growth regions fell 4%.

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