Low demand in Europe and flat sales in the US hit first quarter (Q1 2019) sales at Dutch health technology (HealthTech) major Philips. Rising sales in China and the emerging markets could barely make up for the low demand in Europe and the US.

Q1 core profit at Philips rose 6 percent over the corresponding period in 2018. Philips’ core profit in Q1 2019 was 364 million euros compared with 344 million euros in the Q1 2018.

The company reaffirmed in a press release that its total comparable sales is expected to grow 4 to 6 percent until 2020. It expects an adjusted EBITA margin improvement of 100 basis points on an average each year for the 2017-20 period.

Sales at the global HealthTech major amounted to 4.2 billion euros in Q1 2019, a growth of just 2 percent. The company said in the statement that measures taken for its personal health business helped sustain overall comparable sales growth.

Meanwhile, Philips said, the personal health businesses delivered comparable sales growth of 5 percent, driven by high-single-digit growth in mature markets. Philips also claimed in the statement that its personal health business growth was led by ‘high teens’ comparable sales growth in its oral healthcare business.

The diagnosis and treatment businesses at Philips recorded 2 percent comparable sales growth, led by double-digit growth in image-guided therapy. Comparable sales in the connected care businesses decreased 1 percent, with low-single-digit growth in sleep and respiratory care, and a mid-single-digit decline in monitoring and analytics.

Also, in the press release on its sales in Q1 2019, Philips said that it hopes to gain from new partnerships in the US, Europe, and Asia. Among them is a tie-up with the newly constructed Hong Duc General Hospital II in Vietnam. According to the deal, Philips will provide the latest healthcare and imaging solutions as well as design, consulting, and financing services to the hospital.