Philips’ profits dropped significantly last year due to the problems with sleep apnea devices. The company recorded a profit of 612 million euros. A year earlier, that was still 999 million euros. Quarterly figures published on Monday reports Philips that the recall of the sleep apnea device Dreamstation has cost 719 million euros so far. Any legal costs resulting from claims for damages have not yet been included.
Since it became known in June that chemical particles can end up in the lungs when using the Dreamstation, Philips decided to recall several versions of the sleep apnea device worldwide. In total, about 5.2 million devices had to be returned to the factory, the company announced earlier this month. To date, the healthcare technology group has produced 1.5 million repair kits and replacement devices, half of which have now reached customers. Philips hopes that all problems will be resolved in the last quarter of this year.
This probably does not end the matter. In the United States, several claims have been filed by people who say that they have suffered health problems such as dizziness, sinus infections and lung cancer since using the devices. It Financial Newspaper reported that in the Netherlands at least 185 Dutch patients suffer from complaints. They reported to two legal aid insurers and a specialized law firm. Due to the ‘unpredictable nature’ of the costs for legal proceedings, Philips has not yet made an estimate of the costs.
Philips recorded an annual turnover of 17.2 billion euros in 2021, about 1 percent less than a year earlier. In the last quarter, turnover fell to 4.9 billion euros, 350 million euros less than in 2020. According to Philips, this is partly due to chip shortages and problems with the supply chain.