Dutch technology and healthcare giant Philips has reported a big fall in second quarter profits and sales, but says conditions may be improving.

Philips’ sales for the second quarter period totalled €5.23 bn, 19% less than a year before. Sales of its healthcare products were 5% lower.

The firm’s net profit sank to €45m for the April to June quarter, down 94% on a year earlier. Like on like sales were reported to be 5% down, with weakness in the North American and European markets identified as the main cause.

The healthcare division reported a decline year-on-year but said sales increased compared with Q1, “supported by modest growth outside the US”. Growth in healthcare came largely from emerging markets, such as China, India and Eastern Europe.

The decline was mainly attributed to imaging systems and clinical care systems, with a strong performance reported in home healthcare solutions.

Healthcare sales decreased from €1872m in the first quarter of 2008 to €1800m in Q1 of 2009.

Overall Philips’ sales decline 19% year-on-year, reflecting continuing weakness in consumer and professional markets.

Gerard Kleisterlee, president and CEO of Royal Philips Electronics, said: "In line with earlier guidance, we did not see a material improvement in consumer or professional markets in the past three months.”

He added: “We remain cautious about the overall economy and the markets we’re operating in and will not shy away from implementing further cost measures where needed.”