Pandemic sends profits soaring at Philips

The global health crisis has demand for medical equipment soaring.

And that's proving good news for Philips.

The Dutch firm has spent years divesting other business lines.

It now focuses on hospital equipment and personal health appliances.

That seems to have paid off in the first quarter, with a 74% surge in core earnings.

They jumped to 438 million dollars, ahead of analyst forecasts.

Chief Executive Frans van Houten said all business segments and markets contributed to the gain.

Philips now makes everything from toothbrushes to medical scanners.

It has sold its household appliances unit for 3.7 billion euros - or about 4.4 billion dollars.

The firm now expects low-to-mid-single-digit sales growth in 2021, up from earlier forecasts.