The Dutch global electronics giant Philips on Monday posted a 1.3 billion euro loss for 2011, and forecast a “cautious year” ahead as a result of world-wide economic uncertainty.
The company, which had posted a net income of 1.4 billion euros ($1.8 billion) a year before, blamed the poor performance on writedowns and losses within its television business, which is expected to be sold to TPV Technology by the end of the first quarter of 2012.
A dividend of 0.75 euros per share for 2011 would nonetheless be proposed to shareholders, Philips said in a statement, after sales grew by four percent to 22.6 billion euros.
“We are cautious about 2012 given the uncertainty in the global economy and in Europe in particular,”Philips chief executive Frans van Houten said in the statement.
He expected 2012 results to be affected by restructuring and “one-time” investments.
The Amsterdam-based industrial group said on October 17 that it was cutting 4,500 jobs, including 1,400 in the Netherlands, by 2014 as part of a cost-reduction exercise aimed at saving 800 million euros.
Philips employs more than 120,000 people globally.
“Let’s hope that the (economic) world is not going to deteriorate further,” Van Houten said in a telephone conference with news agencies, calling on European Union leaders to “get the (debt) crisis resolved.”
Philips’ sales dipped five percent in Europe, its chief executive added.
“We are looking for other pastures,” he said including the United States and Asia, where he saw potential high growth.
The company has maintained is targets for mid-2013, with sales growth of four to six percent and a core profit margin set at 10 to 12 percent.
The Dutch group also posted a net loss of 162 million euros for the fourth quarter of 2011, as opposed to a 463-million-euro profit a year before, pinning it on a weak European market and a 272-million-euro pre-tax loss related to its television business.
Sales for the period increased by 3.0 percent however to 6.7 billion euros.
Philips has long specialised in the manufacturing of televisions and small appliances. In the past decade it has also developed the production of medical equipment such as magnetic resonance scanners and lighting systems.