July 22 - Philips has reported better-than-expected second-quarter results after orders from its healthcare division rose 7 percent. But as Hayley Platt reports the CEO of the Dutch healthcare, lighting and consumer appliance group remains cautious.
A raft of new products is giving Philip's a brighter future. Net profits in the second quarter almost tripled from a year ago to 317 million euros. Europe's largest electronics manufacturer has been focussing on healthcare - and orders were up 7 percent CEO Frans van Houten says the division now accounts for around 40 percent of the business. SOUNDBITE: Frans van Houten, CEO Philips, saying (English): "I think it's sustainable because we invest so much in becoming a more competitive company through our accelerated transformation programme we are working hard to speed up relevant innovation and also improve our agility." Philips has cut jobs and operations over the past two years and invested heavily in high-tech systems. Despite the recovery Van Houghton says the outlook for healthcare remains tough, especially in the U.S. SOUNDBITE: Frans van Houten, CEO Philips, saying (English): "I continue to be concerned about economic uncertainties in the world. We see that a transformation of healthcare in the United States is making hospital CEO's cautious to commit their capital investments. In markets like Japan we see that the decline of the Japanese Yen is affecting the world so it's not an easy world around us." Philips sees new innovations in minimal invasive technology using imagery and ultra sound as key to its future success. It says it's on track to achieve its end of year targets. Its shares rose almost 4% after the results.