Due to strong exchange rate fluctuations, Philips’ third-quarter results were lower than expected. Total sales amounted to EUR 4.3 billion, compared to EUR 4.1 billion a year ago. The operating result went from EUR 532 million to EUR 568 million.

Philips earned EUR 292 million compared to EUR 423 million a year earlier. The decrease was due to the reduction of the stake in the former lighting division Signify.

Frans van Houten, CEO of Philips, was particularly pleased with “the 11% order book growth”. This despite the fact that operational improvements were partially offset by an increase in headwinds in foreign currencies.

Van Houten: “The Diagnosis & Treatment activities continued to perform strongly, thanks to our innovative product and solutions portfolio. Our Connected Care & Health Informatics business also showed continued growth in order intake, but sales declined by 2% compared to a very strong third quarter in 2017. I am encouraged by the increase in sales growth of the Personal Health business compared to the first half of 2018, but the recovery was slower than expected, as good growth in our growth regions was partially offset by lower growth in our mature regions.

Van Houten expects currency fluctuations and the trade war to continue to affect Philips in the coming months. Nevertheless, he maintains the profit forecasts for 2017-2020.