Philips earlier this month warned that supply chain woes would hit profit and a ventilator recall needed to be expanded, sending its shares down over 15 per cent on their worst day on the financial markets in decades. read more
Chief Executive Officer Frans van Houten said that the outfit expected a rubbish start to the year with a comparable sales decline, followed by a recovery and strong second half of the year.
This should lead to between 3 - 5 per cent growth in comparable sales in 2022, he added.
Overall growth will be held back by the sleep & respiratory care unit, which is still working on the massive recall of breathing-aid machines launched last year, amid concerns that a type of foam used in the devices could degrade and become toxic. read more
Growth, excluding this unit, is expected to reach 5 - 6 per cent, Van Houten said.
Philips has set aside 725 million euros to repair and replace some 5 million devices worldwide, but that sum does not cover the possible costs of litigation, with the company facing more than a hundred class action suits. Fears of a large claims bill already lopped around 15 billion euros off Philips' market value in the past nine months.
The Amsterdam-based company said its comparable sales fell 10 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2021.