Philips reports strong profit rise in Q4

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Royal Philips Electronics NV, the world’s biggest lighting maker, says net profit rose 79 percent in the fourth quarter as the company reaped the benefits of cost-cutting and its margins improved.

The company says it had net profit of 465 million ($632 million) or 0.49 per share, up from 260 million in the same period a year ago. It says sales rose 1.6 percent to 7.39 billion from a year ago — but they would have fallen without the impact of currency effects.

Philips said its lighting sales, which were about flat from a year ago, benefited from strong Asian and U.S. markets, but suffered from poor demand in Western Europe.

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