Philips Q1 sales increase despite flat imaging growth

Sales gains in its ultrasound, cardiac care, patient monitoring, and customer services businesses helped Philips Healthcare to 5% first-quarter sales growth, but earnings were hampered by lower results in the company's imaging systems unit.

For the period (end-March 31), the Andover, MA-based healthcare division had sales of 1.474 billion euros ($2.32 billion U.S.), up 3% on a nominal basis and 5% on a comparable basis from the 1.431 billion euros ($2.25 billion U.S.) reported in the first quarter of 2007. The company reported earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization (EBITA) of 121 million euros ($190 million U.S.), up from 119 million euros ($186.9 million U.S.) a year ago.

In quarterly highlights, Philips reported double-digit gains in North American imaging systems orders, driven mainly by MR, nuclear medicine, and cardiovascular x-ray systems, Philips said. The company experienced flat sales in its imaging systems unit overall, however.

Higher earnings in Philips' ultrasound, patient monitoring, and customer services activities -- due mainly to margin improvements and cost reductions -- were partially offset by lower earnings at the company's imaging systems unit, the company said.

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