In the last quarter of the year, sales of LED products grew by 43 per cent compared to the same period in 2012, and now account for 25 per cent of lighting revenue (up from 16 per cent the year before). The lighting division represents more than a third of Philips’ business as a whole and employs 50,000 people in 60 countries.
Growth in the lighting division (adjusted to exclude negative currency effects and consolidation changes) was in line with the group as a whole.
In the last quarter of the year, lighting sales declined by four per cent year-on-year in North America and grew by four per cent in Europe, while sales in the fast-growing markets where Philips Lighting does nearly half its business (including China, India and Brazil) were up by eight per cent.
Philips CEO Frans van Houten said: ‘The challenging economic environment in 2012, notably in Europe and United States, has impacted our order book and hence we expect our sales in 2013 to start slow and pick up in the second half of the year.’
The company as a whole achieved sales of €24.8bn (£21.2bn) in 2012, making a profit of €231m (£198m). Its cost-cutting efforts have racked up total savings of €471m (£403m) so far.
But it made a loss in the fourth quarter thanks to a record €509m (£435m) fine from the European Commission for its role in a cartel that fixed prices of cathode ray tube products between 1996 and 2006 – a decision the company says it will appeal.
Philips also announced that it is selling its audio and video arm to Japan’s Funai Electric for €150m (£128m).