Philips first-quarter core profit misses estimates on bleak sales

Reuters with CNBC.com
Key Points
  • Philips' core profit came in at 364 million euros ($406.2 million), missing analysts' expectations of 371 million euros.
  • Comparable sales growth came in at 2%, slightly below 2.4% expectations.
  • CEO Frans van Houten told CNBC the company is sitting on a "tremendous order book" which should see revenues improve through 2019.
Philips had a 'reasonable' first quarter, CEO says

Dutch health technology company Philips on Monday posted a 6% rise in first-quarter core earnings, but missed analysts' expectations on bleak sales growth.

The company's core profit came in at 364 million euros ($406.2 million), compared with 344 million euros in the previous year.

Analysts polled for Reuters had expected adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA) of 371 million euros, while comparable sales growth of 2% missed expectations of a 2.4% improvement.

Speaking to CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" Monday, Philips CEO Frans van Houten characterized the quarter as "reasonable," highlighting 5% growth in the company's personal health business, and a "tremendous order book."

"Last year in 2018, the company recorded double-digit order growth through the year so with confidence I can say in 2019, we will see starting with the second quarter, and certainly in the second half, a much stronger revenue development," he said.

Van Houten also claimed the company would be insulated against macroeconomic downturns on the basis of its transition into a health care company, and said he was "very confident" about the company's outlook for growth in emerging markets.