Philips CEO says 2014 earnings improvement now more difficult

FRANKFURT, April 22 Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:59am EDT

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FRANKFURT, April 22 (Reuters) - Philips revised its outlook downwards for 2014, saying unfavourable exchange rates will make it difficult to achieve targets this year, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

"In the first quarter, we have seen a bigger impact of market and currency headwinds than originally anticipated," Frans van Houten told journalists during a conference call after Philips reported a bigger-than-expected decline in quarterly operating profit.

"We have modified (our outlook) by saying it's a challenging year and thereby implying that an improvement this year will be difficult," he said.

In late January, Philips had said 2014 would be a modest step toward its 2016 financial targets. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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