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Philips looking to sell domestic appliances business

By Philip Smith

Dutch conglomerate is focusing on the healthcare sector

Royal Philips, the Dutch multinational conglomerate, is to sell off its domestic appliances operation as it no longer fits with its business strategy.

Last year, that section of the firm saw sales of €2.3bn (£2bn, $2.5bn) with a double-digit profit margin which was “slightly less than the average for Philips”, said the firm.

Philips was once one of the most recognised electronics brands in Europe but over the past few years it has sold off its lighting, television, entertainment and automotive divisions as it focused on the healthcare sector. The domestic appliances section, which makes products such as coffee machines, vacuum cleaners and air purifiers, is to be sold by mid 2021.

“This business is not a strategic fit for our future as a health technology leader,” said CEO Frans van Houten. “We are committed to finding a good home for this business, as we expand and invest in our consumer health and professional healthcare related businesses.”

Earlier this week Philips reported overall sales of €19.5bn for 2019, up four per cent from the previous year on strong demand from China. Profit margins rose 0.1 percentage points to 13.2 per cent, falling short of its own target. It said the US-China trade spat had impacted profits despite the sales and traders will now be watching to see how Philips deals with the fall out from the Coronavirus.

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