Philips: Sales and profits up in 3rd quarter, delay in sale of LED lighting division stake

AMSTERDAM – Lighting and healthcare giant Royal Philips NV said Monday its third-quarter net profit soared to 324 million euros ($357 million) from a loss of 103 million euros in the same quarter last year, when it took a 366 million-euro charge after losing a patent lawsuit.

Sales rose to 5.84 billion euros from 5.2 billion.

Chief Executive Officer Frans van Houten said the results confirmed that “our operational performance continues to strengthen despite deteriorating macroeconomic conditions in a number of markets, most notably in China.”

Philips also announced that it has hit a hitch in the sale of an 80.1-per cent stake in its LED components and automotive lighting division to a consortium led by investment fund GO Scale Capital.

The deal, worth up to $2.9 billion, was expected to be completed in the third quarter, but Philips says that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has “expressed certain unforeseen concerns” about the sale.

The company said Philips and GO Scale Capital will “take all reasonable steps to address” the committee’s concerns, “but, given these, the closing of the transaction is uncertain.”

Early Monday, Philips stock was down 2.75 per cent from Friday’s closing price to 23.10 euros ($25.52).