AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Philips <PHG.AS>, the Dutch maker of LED lights and medical scanners, on Tuesday reported core fourth quarter earnings ahead of expectations but issued a cautious outlook for 2016.
The company, which is trying to dispose of its lighting operations, forecast "modest" sales growth of around 2 percent this year, and said it expects improvement only in the second half.
Adjusted EBITA, or earnings before interest, taxes, and amortization, came in at 842 million euros ($913 million), compared with 743 million euros in the same period a year earlier.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast EBITA of 799 million euros.
Comparable sales increased by 2 percent to 7.1 billion euros, Philips said.
CEO Frans van Houten said in a statement that the company expects "modest comparable sales growth" this year.
"Taking into account ongoing macroeconomic headwinds and the phasing of costs and sales, we expect improvements in the year to be back-end loaded," he said.
The company reported a net loss of 39 million euros for the fourth quarter.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)