Royal Philips NV, the maker of lights, home appliances and health-care equipment, has reported lower first quarter earnings due to weak sales and one-time gains in the same period a year ago. The company said its underlying margins have improved due to cutting costs.

Net profit was 162 million euros ($212 million), from 183 million euros in the first quarter of 2012, when the company had 172 million in one-time gains, notably from the sale of its Senseo coffee maker brand. Companywide sales fell by 1 percent to 5.26 billion euros.

"We reiterate our view of a slow first half to 2013, due to adverse market trends, especially in Europe and the U.S.," said chief executive Frans van Houten in a statement.