The U.S. healthcare market continues to under-perform for Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG), Europe’s largest consumer goods company and the global leader in patient monitoring systems.
The Dutch company, which houses its U.S. healthcare division’s headquarters in Andover, Mass., reported that fourth-quarter sales dropped by almost 7 percent, to $3.4 billion, for its healthcare division during the fourth quarter, compared to $3.6 billion for the same period last year. However, despite slower sales, the division still reported strong bottom-line growth, posting a $452 million EBIDTA profit, compared to $343 million for the same period last year.
For the full year, Philips Healthcare posted sales of about $11 billion, a nearly 3 percent uptick from the $10.7 billion it reported in 2008.
The company said sales were led by its home healthcare unit, while orders for its imaging and patient monitoring products declined. Sales were particularly slow in North America for all three operating divisions of the company. The healthcare division makes up about a third of the company’s overall sales.
While the North American markets experienced declines, officials were upbeat about growth in emerging markets and the 2010 rollout of the Philips Lifeline medical alert service for senior citizens. And, they said, the company doesn’t expect to incur any further restructuring charges from its latest round of layoffs.
Philips shed about 6,000 jobs overall in January, 2009, with 1,255 of those coming from the healthcare division, including some from the company’s Andover facility.