Technology company Philips today said it boosted like-for-like sales five per cent last year to €18.1bn (£15.7bn).
The Amsterdam-headquartered technology company said it also grew sales five per cent in the fourth quarter to €5.6bn.
The company said its adjusted earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (Ebita) improved 100 basis points to 13.1 per cent of sales in 2018, compared to 12.1 per cent the previous year.
Philips announced a €1.5bn share buyback programme and boosted its dividend six per cent to €0.85 per share.
Chief executive Frans van Houten said: “As Philips continues to navigate global geopolitical challenges and market volatility, for which we are taking necessary actions, we expect our performance momentum to improve in the course of the year. We reaffirm our overall targets of four to six per cent comparable sales growth and an adjusted Ebita margin improvement of 100 basis points on average per year for the 2017–2020 period.”
In January Philips said it was closing its only UK factory, potentially cutting more than 400 jobs.
The factory in Glemsford, Suffolk, manufactures babycare products which are predominantly exported to other European countries.
The move came as part of a push to reduce its number of manufacturing sites worldwide from 50 to 30
In October van Houten had warned that a no-deal or hard Brexit could hit the UK's position as a manufacturing hub.