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Frans van Houten

Frans van Houten

CEO Royal Philips Electronics

Message from the CEO

“Accelerate! is gaining good traction and delivering tangible results. We are improving the time-to-market of new innovations and creating value propositions with greater local relevance in key markets around the world. We will continue to relentlessly drive operational excellence and invest in innovation and sales development to deliver profitable growth.”

Frans van Houten, CEO

Dear stakeholder,

Philips is a fantastic company with significant potential still to be fully unlocked. We hold leadership positions in the domains of healthcare, lighting and consumer well-being. Global trends and challenges – such as the demand for affordable healthcare, the need for energy efficiency, and the desire for personal well-being – offer us tremendous opportunities, in both growth and mature geographies. We have talented and engaged people, exceptional innovation capabilities, a strong and trusted brand, presence in over 100 countries, and a solid balance sheet, all of which differentiate us in the market and significantly strengthen our businesses.

We continue to see ourselves as a case of ‘self-help’ as we have considerable scope for operational improvement that will drive higher growth and better returns. Through our multi-year transformation program Accelerate! we are making progress in unlocking this potential, including a rigorous approach to portfolio management to ensure that we invest in the best value-creating opportunities and exit less attractive businesses.

2012 – a year of significant progress

With the addition of Deborah DiSanzo and Eric Rondolat as CEO of Healthcare and Lighting respectively, we have completed our Executive Committee – a diverse team that is fully motivated to transform Philips into the leading technology company in health and well-being.

Accelerate! is gaining good traction and delivering tangible results. We are improving the time-to-market of new innovations and creating value propositions with greater local relevance in key markets around the world. We are redirecting resources to areas where we have identified opportunities to create value and win in the market.

We are also transforming our processes to create lean end-to-end customer value chains. We are reducing our working capital requirements, including a significant reduction in inventory in 2012. Our cost reduction program – aimed specifically at reducing overhead and support costs – is delivering ahead of target, with cumulative savings of EUR 471 million in 2012.

And we are creating a growth and performance culture by taking decisions faster, fostering entrepreneurial behavior, and taking a granular approach to business planning and performance management, fully anchored by our General Business Principles. Our reward system has been aligned to reflect the focus on growth and improved performance.  

I am delighted that the organization is responding well to Accelerate! – all of these actions are making Philips a more customer-focused, agile, entrepreneurial innovator.

We posted 4% comparable sales growth in 2012, despite ongoing economic challenges and market weakness, especially in the United States and Europe. Our growth geographies made a strong and increasing contribution (35% of sales, up from 33% in 2011).

Our underlying operational profitability improved, driven by sales growth and higher productivity of non-manufacturing costs. Reported EBITA was significantly impacted by various charges, as well as restructuring costs. We substantially improved our return on invested capital.

Healthcare did well in 2012, recording 6% comparable sales growth, as well as – importantly – improved profitability at its Imaging Systems business. The growth businesses in our Consumer Lifestyle sector, i.e. Personal Care, Health & Wellness and Domestic Appliances, delivered solid growth, including a significant contribution from 2011 acquisitions in growth geographies. Lighting posted a further increase in LED-based sales and made progress in addressing underperforming units, with Lumileds and Consumer Luminaires returning to profitability – excluding restructuring and acquisition-related charges – in the fourth quarter. Innovation is a key driver of future LED-based applications and solutions, and we were proud to launch our personal wireless LED lighting system Philips hue. Reinforcing our commitment to innovation, we increased our investments in Research & Development from EUR 1.6 billion (7.1% of sales) in 2011 to EUR 1.8 billion (7.3% of total sales) in 2012.

Reshaping our Consumer Lifestyle portfolio was an important step in the transformation of Philips to become the leading technology company in health and well-being. Our Television joint venture with TPV became operational in 2012. This was followed by the announcement of a distribution agreement with Funai for Lifestyle Entertainment in North America. In January 2013 we announced an agreement with Funai on the transfer of our audio, video, multimedia and accessories businesses. This agreement will leverage the strengths of both companies to improve the position of Philips Audio/Video Entertainment in the market, providing continuity for our customers and brand license income for Philips.

As we strive to make the world healthier and more sustainable through innovation, we again delivered on our EcoVision commitments and helped improve the lives of 1.7 billion people in 2012. Our ongoing efforts in this area were recognized when we were named ‘Supersector leader’ in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the second consecutive year. In the annual Interbrand ranking of the top 100 global brands, we increased our brand value by 5% to over USD 9 billion, the highest in the history of our brand.

In 2012 we continued to execute our EUR 2 billion share buy-back program, which will improve the efficiency of our balance sheet, and by the end of the year we had completed 73% of this program.

Reflecting our confidence in Philips’ future, we are proposing to the upcoming General Meeting of Shareholders to maintain this year’s dividend at EUR 0.75 per common share, in cash or stock.

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    Dividend per common share

Looking ahead – our path to value in 2013 and beyond

As we pursue our mission and vision, we are confident that the strategic direction we have chosen is sound.  We are bringing many exciting new products and services to the market in all three of our sectors. We will continue with Accelerate! to make us more competitive and to enable our businesses to win in the market and achieve global leadership positions. It is the right platform to drive the execution of our plans and to ensure that our investments in innovation, people, systems and markets deliver profitable growth and improve return on invested capital.

In the coming year we will make further progress through Accelerate! by transforming our end-to-end customer value chain to just four Lean-based business models enabled by an effective and cost-efficient IT platform. This is helping us to deliver our innovations to market faster and reducing our working capital requirements. Our end-to-end projects will scale up to cover over 40% of sales in 2013, up from around 20% in 2012.

We are also implementing focused actions to improve gross margins in 2013 and beyond. These include rationalizing our industrial and distribution footprint at Lighting and Healthcare, enhancing procurement effectiveness and driving value engineering.

In conclusion, we made considerable progress in 2012, but there is still much to be done to deliver Philips’ full potential. We are confident that operational and financial performance will improve further during 2013, enabling us to achieve our targets for the year. 

On behalf of my colleagues on the Executive Committee, I wish to thank our employees for their dedicated efforts and for the way they have embraced our new culture of entrepreneurship and accountability. And I would like to thank our customers and other stakeholders, especially our shareholders, for their continuing support.

Frans van Houten,

Chief Executive Officer


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This is an interactive electronic version of the Philips Annual Report 2012 and also contains certain information in summarized form. The contents of this version are qualified in their entirety by reference to the printed version of the full Philips Annual Report 2012. This printed version is available as a PDF file on this website. Information about: forward-looking statements, third-party market share data, fair value information, IFRS basis of presentation, use of non-GAAP information, statutory financial statements and management report, reclassifications and analysis of 2011 compared to 2010.

Comparable sales exclude the effect of currency movements and acquisitions and divestments (changes in consolidation). Philips believes that comparable sales information enhances understanding of sales performance.

Growth geographies are the developing geographies comprising of Asia Pacific (excluding Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand), Latin America, Central & Eastern Europe, the Middle East (excluding Israel) and Africa.

Philips uses Productivity internally and as mentioned in this annual report as a non-financial indicator of efficiency that relates the added value, being income from operations adjusted for certain items such as restructuring and acquisition-related charges etc. plus salaries and wages (including pension costs and other social security and similar charges), depreciation of property, plant and equipment, and amortization of intangibles, to the average number of employees over the past 12 months.

Earnings before interest, tax and amortization (EBITA) represents income from continuing operations excluding results attributable to non-controlling interest holders, results relating to investments in associates, income taxes, financial income and expenses, amortization and impairment on intangible assets (excluding software and capitalized development expenses). Philips believes that EBITA information makes the underlying performance of its businesses more transparent by factoring out the amortization of these intangible assets, which arises when acquisitions are consolidated. In our Annual Report on form 20-F this definition is referred to as Adjusted IFO.