TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -“This is not peanuts”, Chief Executive Frans van Houten told reporters on Tuesday.
“These are serious changes to our supply chains,” he said, adding the switches would take place in the first half of 2019.
Philips, whose healthcare products range from high-tech toothbrushes to medical imaging systems, stuck to an earlier prediction that increased trade tariffs would cut around 60 million euros ($69 million) from core profits this year.
But the effects of the trade war go beyond tariffs, the CEO said, as it is hitting consumer confidence in China, slowing demand for consumer healthcare products in the world’s second-largest economy.
Philips’ sales in China will continue to grow in 2019, however, Van Houten said, as strong demand for hospital equipment will outweigh the weakness of the consumer market.
Overall, Philips held on to its target for total comparable sales growth of 4 to 6 percent per year until 2020.
Strong demand for hospital equipment in China, Latin America and Europe helped Philips beat analysts’ forecasts in the last quarter of 2018, as comparable sales rose 5 percent and core profit (adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) increased 10 percent to 971 million euros.
Together with a 6 percent dividend hike and a new 1.5 billion euros share buyback plan, this lifted Philips shares 1.8 percent to 32.89 euros at 0930 GMT.