AMSTERDAM (AP) -- Royal Philips NV, the maker of lights, home appliances and health-care equipment, says first quarter earnings fell on the back of soft sales and unfavorable annual comparisons.
Even so, the company says Monday its underlying margins have improved due to cutting costs.
In the first quarter, Philips made a net profit of 162 million euros ($212 million), down from 183 million euros in the first quarter of 2012 when it enjoyed 119 million euros worth of one-time gains, notably from the sale of its Senseo coffee maker brand. Sales fell 1 percent to 5.26 billion euros.
Chief executive Frans van Houten says the company is reiterating its view of a slow first half to 2013 due to "adverse" market trends, especially in Europe and the U.S.