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Philips: earnings fall short due to Covid crisis

( - Dutch healthcare technology group Philips announced first-quarter results that missed estimates on Monday, with the COVID-19 outbreak hitting its businesses in China and Asia-Pacific.

Philips said income from continuing operations fell to 42 million euros in the first three months of the year, a far cry from the 171 million euros reported a year ago.

The company's EBITA margin decreased to 5.9% from 8.8% in the first quarter of 2019.

Comparable sales fell 2% to 4.2 billion euros, as strong demand for patient monitors and hospital ventilators was offset by a significant fall in demand for personal health products and a downward trend in image-guided therapy systems, it said.

For the full year 2020, Philips said it aims to report "modest" comparable sales growth, along with a limited improvement in its adjusted EBITA margin.

Given current uncertainty and volatility, the group said it will not provide more specific guidalines for 2020.

Its shares - which have already recovered over the past month - rose another 4.5% in early trading on Monday.

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