Philips Electronics published weaker-than-expected first-quarter net profit on Monday, hurt by sluggish demand for electronic goods and overcapacity in chips and liquid-crystal displays (LCDs).
Net profit at the world's biggest lighting maker and Europe's top consumer electronics producer was 117 million euros ($150.6 million), against an average expectation of 156 million euros in a Reuters poll of 24 analysts.
Net profit in the year-earlier period was 550 million euros, boosted by results from unconsolidated companies at the firm, which is also a top-three maker of hospital equipment and Europe's number three in semiconductors.
This quarter, however, Philips sizeable stakes in companies such as South Korea's flat-panel maker LG.Philips LCD and Taiwan's contract chip producer TSMC turned in only 22 million euros, versus 457 million a year ago.
Analysts had expected profit from unconsolidated companies to slip to 50 million euros.
Philips' own activities performed in line with expectations, with 193 million in operating profit against analysts' expectations for 198 million euros and 218 million a year earlier.
"It's encouraging to see another solid quarter with steady performance and profitability in all our main businesses. I am pleased with the progress being made in Consumer Electronics, reflecting the successful implementation of our business renewal program," Chief Executive Gerard Kleisterlee said in a statement.
Sales were flat at 6.635 billion euros, against expectations for a 1.6 percent increase.
"It's not a particularly surprising set of numbers, but the one element that sticks out is Consumer Electronics which is performing better than expected," said ING analyst Ewald Walraven.
All five core business units were profitable, including the volatile Semiconductors and Consumer Electronics units, which generated 14 million and 46 million euros of operating profit respectively.
Philips believes the global chip industry could improve later in the year.
"We're scraping the bottom at this point in time. It feels like we're very close to the bottom," Chief Financial Officer Jan Hommen told CNBC television.