Philips core earnings up 18 percent despite soft sales growth

Expect more innovation: Philips CEO

, the maker of medical devices and healthcare products, reported on Monday better than expected core earnings of 442 million euros ($480 million) for the first quarter, up 18
percent, despite weak sales growth.

Analysts polled for Reuters had seen adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, and amortisation (EBITA) at 427 million euros, from 374 in the same period a year ago.

Sales were up 2 percent to 5.7 billion euros, below Philips' medium-term guidance for 4-6 percent sales growth annually.