In the first quarter of this year, Philips saw a significant increase in demand for devices used in the diagnosis and treatment of coronavirus. Demand in the Connected Care and Diagnosis & Treatment divisions, which included respirators and monitors, increased by 23 percent.
Philips announced this on Monday when the figures for the first three months of this year were published.
“The beginning of 2020 was marked by the outbreak of COVID-19 and we have deployed our resources since January to address this unprecedented challenge,” said Philips CEO Frans van Houten.
“We are investing more than 100 million euros to increase production volumes.” In other segments, the Eindhoven-based group is seeing a decrease in demand as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. That was first visible in China and the rest of Asia, where the virus started. This has also become visible in the rest of the world since March.
To meet the unprecedented demand for respirators, Philips recently introduced a simpler version, the E30. It can be used in an emergency, when more advanced equipment is not available. The production of this new device started in April and can be made on a large scale. The company wants to make about 15,000 a week.
Philips’ turnover in the first quarter amounted to EUR 4.2 billion, the result to EUR 42 million.