Dutch electronics giant Philips announced on April 22 that it had made net profits of 1.561 billion Guilders (USD772.7 million) in the first quarter of 1998, up 75% on the 887 million Guilder profit recorded for the first quarter of 1997. Before extraordinary items, net profit works out at 716 million Guilders (USD354.4 million), compared with 460 million Guilders in the first three months of 1997. For 1998 as a whole, the group's management is banking on "double-digit growth in profit". Over the first three months of 1998, Philips' sales turnover reached 17.836 billion Guilders (USD8.82 billion), up 11% on the first quarter of 1997, the management said in a communique. Operating profit stood at 859 million Guilders, up lightly (2.75%) from 836 million Guilders a year earlier. The net quarterly profit per ordinary share works out at 2 Guilders (before extraordinary items), up 51.5% from 1.32 Guilders. If the extraordinary result is included, profit per share was 4.36 Guilders compared with 2.55 Guilders last year (+70.9%).The exceptional contribution of 845 million Guilders to Philips' net quarterly profits was almost entirely due to the proceeds of the sale of its subsidiary Philips Car Systems to German industrial giant Mannesmann. Turnover expanded worldwide, with the exception of Latin America, where sales were hit by the recession in Brazil. In Europe, the expansion was most marked in France and the Netherlands. Since the beginning of the year...

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