Europe’s biggest consumer electronics producer Philips is to speed up its restructuring after announcing a surprise first-quarter loss.The Dutch company said sales have been hit by the global recession and it did not see its markets improving in the second quarter. First-quarter losses before interest and taxes were 74 million euros. Industry analysts had expected a 35 million euro profit. During the same period last year Philips made a 265 million euro profit. The company, which makes products ranging from light bulbs to complex medical equipment, said it will step up cost cutting during the second quarter, especially at its Lighting unit It intends to increase annual savings by 500 million euros by the end of the year. But Philips’ chief financial officer said there are no plans, at the moment, to lay off more people on top of the 6,000 job cuts previously announced for this year.
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