Electronics giant Philips posts 2015 profit up 55%

Electronics giant Philips posts 2015 profit up 55%

Dutch electronics giant Philips Tuesday unveiled solid net profits for last year, up 55 percent on 2014 driven by increased sales in its healthcare and lifestyle business.

Total net profit attributable to shareholders was 645 million euros (S$1 billion), with sales up to 24.2 billion euros amid rising orders in North America and Europe, the company said.

"Overall 2015 was a solid year for Philips, as illustrated by consistent performance improvements in the face of ongoing" economic challenges, said chief executive officer Frans van Houten.

He predicted "moderate sales growth" for the Amsterdam-based business in 2016 as the company evolves, trying to streamline operations by splitting its healthcare-lifestyle arms from its historic lighting section.

The split is expected to be completed some time this year, with analysts predicting Philips could eventually sell off Lighting, one of its core businesses for many years.

Philips, which sold its first light bulb a few years after it was founded in 1891, has for the past dozen years focused on medical equipment, which now accounts for more than 40 percent of sales.

As it unveiled its 2015 earnings, the company proposed maintaining its 0.80 cent dividend per share.

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