Business segment performance
In the fourth quarter, all business segments delivered growth and increased profitability.
The Diagnosis & Treatment businesses recorded 5% comparable sales growth in the quarter, driven by high-single-digit growth in Image-Guided Therapy and mid-single-digit growth in Ultrasound. Comparable order intake showed a low-single-digit increase on the back of high-single-digit growth in Q4 2018. The order intake growth was driven by double-digit growth in China and Western Europe. The Adjusted EBITA margin increased to 16.3%, mainly due to sales growth, partly offset by investments and tariffs. For the full year, the Diagnosis & Treatment businesses delivered 5% comparable sales growth and an increased Adjusted EBITA margin of 12.7%.
The Connected Care businesses delivered 2% comparable sales growth in the quarter, driven by mid-single-digit growth in Monitoring & Analytics. Comparable order intake showed a mid-single-digit increase, driven by double-digit growth in North America and China. The Adjusted EBITA margin increased to 19.4%, mainly due to sales growth and productivity, partly offset by the impact of tariffs. For the full year, the Connected Care businesses delivered 3% comparable sales growth and the Adjusted EBITA margin decreased to 13.2%.
The Personal Health businesses delivered comparable sales growth of 4% in the quarter, driven by double-digit growth in Oral Healthcare and mid-single-digit growth in Personal Care. The Adjusted EBITA margin increased to 20.1%, mainly due to sales growth, a positive mix impact and productivity, partly offset by tariffs. For the full year, the Personal Health businesses delivered 5% comparable sales growth and an increase in Adjusted EBITA margin to 16.1%.
Philips’ ongoing focus on innovation and strategic partnerships to make the world healthier and more sustainable resulted in the following highlights in the quarter and the full year:
- In 2019, Philips’ products and solutions improved the lives of 1.64 billion people, compared to 1.54 billion in 2018; this includes 194 million people in underserved communities, compared to 175 million in 2018. Additionally, for the seventh consecutive year Philips was ranked on CDP's Climate Change A-list in recognition of its actions to reduce emissions, mitigate climate risks and develop the low-carbon economy. Philips is the first health technology company to have committed to become carbon-neutral in its operations by 2020.
- Philips entered into several new long-term strategic partnerships, including a 5-year partnership with the Regional Medical Center in South Carolina to provide diagnostic imaging and image-guided therapy solutions to innovate patient care. Philips also announced a 5-year agreement with US-based Inspira Health to standardize patient monitoring and drive innovation in diagnostic imaging and image-guided therapies in order to enhance patient care and improve clinical workflow performance.
- Driven by Philips’ innovative portfolio of diagnostic imaging, image-guided therapy and patient monitoring solutions, the company continues to win large contracts in China. For example, Philips signed an agreement with the Xi’an International Medical Group to deliver solutions to address clinical and research needs in cardiology, radiation oncology and critical care.
- Philips continues to set the standard in integrated solutions for image-guided therapy with the expansion of its Azurion platform with FlexArm and the seamless integration of its smart catheters in the platform. The successful launch of Azurion in China and expansion of its smart catheter offering in Europe and Asia contributed to double-digit comparable sales and order intake growth for the Image-Guided Therapy business in 2019.
- Demonstrating the success of Philips’ telehealth solutions for critical care, US-based Health First achieved significant results by using Philips’ acute telehealth platform. Powered by Philips’ eCareManager, Health First’s VitalWatch eICU achieved a 23% reduction in overall mortality, a 49% reduction in ICU length of stay, and a 35% reduction in length of stay across its four hospitals.
- Philips expanded its General Care solutions portfolio with the launch of the EarlyVue VS30 in the US. This new vital signs monitor uses automated Early Warning Scoring (EWS) to collect critical vital signs and calculate risk-based alerts that allow clinicians to identify subtle signs of patient deterioration and facilitate communication between caregivers for timely intervention and patient care.
- Building on the success of Philips’ leading oral care solutions, the company rolled out the BrushSmart program in collaboration with Delta Dental of California, the largest provider of dental benefits in the US. The subscription-based program includes a discounted Sonicare toothbrush, coaching and teledentistry, and connects brushing behaviors at home with professional dental care to better understand, motivate and drive improvements in oral health.
- The global roll-out of Philips’ premium Shaver S9000 Prestige with BeardAdapt Sensor, which adapts the shaver automatically to the user’s hair, and mid-range Shaver S7000 with a personalized solution for sensitive skin, continues to result in positive user reviews and supported strong performance of the Male Grooming business in the quarter.
Domestic Appliances review
Philips announced this morning that it will review options for future ownership of the Domestic Appliances business, and start the process of creating a separate legal structure for this business. The Domestic Appliances business is a global leader with EUR 2.3 billion sales in 2019 in kitchen appliances, coffee, garment care and home care appliances.
Frans van Houten: “The Domestic Appliances business has significantly contributed to Philips, but it is not a strategic fit for our future as a health technology leader, as we choose to further sharpen our focus along the health continuum and invest in our consumer health and professional healthcare-related businesses.”
Executive Committee management changes
Roy Jakobs, currently Chief Business Leader of the Personal Health businesses, has been appointed as the new Chief Business Leader of the Connected Care businesses with immediate effect. He succeeds Carla Kriwet, who will leave the company.
Frans van Houten: “On behalf of Philips’ Executive Committee, I want to thank Carla for her contributions to Philips, and wish her the best in her future endeavors. At the same time, I am pleased to announce Roy as the new leader of the Connected Care businesses and would like to highlight his global leadership experience, with a strong business performance record, and accomplishments in strategy, digital innovation and new business development in the business-to-consumer and business-to-business domains.”
A successor for the Personal Health Chief Business Leader role will be announced in due course. Philips CEO Frans van Houten will lead the Personal Health businesses on an interim basis.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, cost savings totaled EUR 125 million, with procurement savings of EUR 39 million and savings from overhead and other productivity programs of EUR 86 million, resulting in annual savings of EUR 480 million in 2019.
As of the end of the fourth quarter of 2019, Philips has completed 41.5% of its EUR 1.5 billion share buyback program for capital reduction purposes that was announced on January 29, 2019. Further details can be found here.
In the quarter, Philips completed the cancellation of 8.5 million shares that were acquired as part of the share buyback program mentioned above.
At the end of the fourth quarter of 2019, the total number of issued shares outstanding was 890,973,790 shares, compared to 914,184,087 shares at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018.
Philips continues to address the follow-up requests of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as part of its efforts to fulfill its obligations under the Consent Decree  and remains in dialogue with the agency.
 Under the Consent Decree, Philips continues to export its range of AED devices and manufacture and distribute its HS1/OnSite/Home automated external defibrillator (AED) model in the US. The company may also continue to service the AEDs provided that certain conditions are met and provide consumables and the relevant accessories.