Philips CEO Frans van Houten also added that his company has had "no contact" with Third Point LLC following a surge in the company's shares last month after the Sunday Times said the activist hedge fund led by Dan Loeb was set to take a stake in the group. "We don't know whether they are shareholders or not," van Houten said on a conference call Monday.
Philips said profits for the three months ending in June rose 15% to €439 million ($512 million), slightly ahead of analysts' forecasts, while sales advanced 4% to €4.3 billion. The group also kept its full-year estimates of 4% to 6% sales growth in tact and said it expects to see a 100 basis point margin improvement over the same period.
"Philips' performance in the second quarter of 2017 was solid, with 4% comparable sales growth in our HealthTech portfolio driven by Western Europe, North America and China, and a strong 8% increase in our order intake," van Houten said. "We achieved a 90-basis-point increase in the Adjusted EBITA margin, driven by higher volumes, operational improvements and cost productivity."
"Despite continued volatility in the markets in which we operate, our outlook for 2017 remains unchanged as we expect further operational improvements and comparable sales growth in the year to be back-end loaded, supported by a strong order book," he added.
Philips shares were marked 3.5% higher by mid-morning in Amsterdam, their biggest gain since June 19, and changing hands at €32.06 each.
Last week, Philips Lighting NV, which was spun off from Philips last year, posted what the group called "solid" quarterly earnings and held onto its full year guidance.
Philips Lighting, which builds systems that link to voice-activated home technology platforms such as Amazon's (AMZN) - Get Report Echo and Apple's HomePod, said operating profit for the three months ending in June rose 8% on an adjusted basis to €174 million ($202 million), firmly ahead of analysts' forecasts of €160 million. Sales, however, slipped 1.8% from the same period last year to €1.7 billion.
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