Definitions and abbreviations


Business Market Combination - As a diversified technology group, Philips has a wide portfolio of categories/business innovation units which are grouped in business groups based primarily on technology or customer needs. Philips has physical market presence in over 100 countries, which are grouped into 17 market clusters. Our primary operating modus is the Business Market matrix comprising Business Groups and Markets. These Business Market Combinations (BMCs) drive business performance on a granular level at which plans are agreed between global businesses and local market teams.

Brominated flame retardants (BFR)

Brominated flame retardants are a group of chemicals that have an inhibitory effect on the ignition of combustible organic materials. Of the commercialized chemical flame retardants, the brominated variety are most widely used.


CO2-equivalent or carbon dioxide equivalent is a quantity that describes, for a given mixture and amount of greenhouse gas, the amount of CO2 that would have the same global warming potential (GWP), when measured over a specified timescale (generally 100 years).

Cash flow before financing activities

The cash flow before financing activities is the sum of net cash flow from operating activities and net cash flow from investing activities.

Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)

A chlorofluorocarbon is an organic compound that contains carbon, chlorine and fluorine, produced as a volatile derivative of methane and ethane. CFCs were originally developed as refrigerants during the 1930s.

Circular economy

A circular economy aims to decouple economic growth from the use of natural resources and ecosystems by using those resources more effectively. By definition it is a driver for innovation in the areas of material-, component- and product reuse, as well as new business models such as solutions and services. In a Circular Economy, the more effective use of materials enables to create more value, both by cost savings and by developing new markets or growing existing ones.

Comparable sales

Comparable sales exclude the effect of currency movements and acquisitions and divestments (changes in consolidation). Philips believes that comparable sales information enhances understanding of sales performance.

Continuing net income

This equals recurring net income from continuing operations, or net income excluding discontinued operations and excluding material non-recurring items.

Dividend yield

The dividend yield is the annual dividend payment divided by Philips’ market capitalization. All references to dividend yield are as of December 31 of the previous year.


Earnings before interest, tax and amortization (EBITA) represents income from continuing operations excluding results attributable to non-controlling interest holders, results relating to investments in associates, income taxes, financial income and expenses, amortization and impairment on intangible assets (excluding software and capitalized development expenses). Philips believes that EBITA information makes the underlying performance of its businesses more transparent by factoring out the amortization of these intangible assets, which arises when acquisitions are consolidated. In our Annual Report on form 20-F this definition is referred to as Adjusted IFO.

EBITA per common share

EBITA divided by the weighted average number of shares outstanding (basic). The same principle is used for the definition of net income per common share, replacing EBITA.

Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC)

The Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition was established in 2004 to promote a common code of conduct for the electronics and information and communications technology (ICT) industry. EICC now includes more than 40 global companies and their suppliers.

Employee Engagement Index (EEI)

The Employee Engagement Index (EEI) is the single measure of the overall level of employee engagement at Philips. It is a combination of perceptions and attitudes related to employee satisfaction, commitment and advocacy.

Energy-using Products (EuP)

An energy-using product is a product that uses, generates, transfers or measures energy (electricity, gas, fossil fuel). Examples are boilers, computers, televisions, transformers, industrial fans, industrial furnaces etc.

Free cash flow

Free cash flow is the net cash flow from operating activities minus net capital expenditures.

Full-time equivalent employee (FTE)

Full-time equivalent is a way to measure a worker’s involvement in a project. An FTE of 1.0 means that the person is equivalent to a full-time worker, while an FTE of 0.5 signals that the worker is only half-time.

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is a network-based organization that pioneered the world’s most widely used sustainability reporting framework. GRI is committed to the framework’s continuous improvement and application worldwide. GRI’s core goals include the mainstreaming of disclosure on environmental, social and governance performance.

Green Innovation

Green Innovation comprise all R&D activities directly contributing to the development of Green Products or Green Technologies.

Green Products

Green Products offer a significant environmental improvement in one or more Green Focal Areas: Energy efficiency, Packaging, Hazardous substances, Weight, Recycling and disposal and Lifetime reliability. The life cycle approach is used to determine a product’s overall environmental improvement. It calculates the environmental impact of a product over its total life cycle (raw materials, manufacturing, product use and disposal).

Green Products need to prove leadership in at least one Green Focal Area compared to industry standards, which is defined by a sector specific peer group. This is done either by outperforming reference products (which can be a competitor or predecessor product in the particular product family) by at least 10%, outperforming product specific eco-requirements or by being awarded with a recognized eco-performance label. Because of different product portfolios, sectors have specified additional criteria for Green Products, including product specific minimum requirements where relevant.

Growth geographies

Growth geographies are the developing geographies comprising of Asia Pacific (excluding Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand), Latin America, Central & Eastern Europe, the Middle East (excluding Israel) and Africa.

Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)

Hydrochlorofluorocarbon is a fluorocarbon that is replacing chlorofluorocarbon as a refrigerant and propellant in aerosol cans.

Income from continuing operations

Net income from continuing operations, or net income excluding discontinued operations.

Initiatief Duurzame Handel (IDH)

IDH is the Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative. It brings together government, frontrunner companies, civil society organizations and labor unions to accelerate and up-scale sustainable trade in mainstream commodity markets from the emerging countries to Western Europe.

International Standardization Organization (ISO)

The International Standardization Organization (ISO) is the world’s largest developer and publisher of International Standards. ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of more than 160 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system. ISO is a non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors.

Light-Emitting Diode (LED)

Light-Emitting Diode (LED), in electronics, is a semiconductor device that emits infrared or visible light when charged with an electric current. Visible LEDs are used in many electronic devices as indicator lamps, in automobiles as rear-window and brake lights, and on billboards and signs as alphanumeric displays or even full-color posters. Infrared LEDs are employed in autofocus cameras and television remote controls and also as light sources in fiber-optic telecommunication systems.

Lives improved by Philips

To calculate how many lives we are improving, market intelligence and statistical data on the number of people touched by the products contributing to the social or ecological dimension over the lifetime of a product are multiplied by the number of those products delivered in a year. After elimination of double counts – multiple different product touches per individual are only counted once – the number of lives improved by our innovative solutions is calculated. In 2012 we established our baseline at 1.7 billion a year.

Mature geographies

Mature geographies are the highly developed markets comprising of Western Europe, North America, Japan, South Korea, Israel, Australia and New Zealand.

Net debt : group equity ratio

The % distribution of net debt over group equity plus net debt.

Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)

A non-governmental organization (NGO) is any non-profit, voluntary citizens’ group which is organized at a local, national or international level.


Original Equipment Manufacturer.

Operational carbon footprint

A carbon footprint is the total set of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an organization, event, product or person; usually expressed in kilotonnes CO2-equivalent. The Philips operational carbon footprint is calculated on a half-year basis and includes industrial sites (manufacturing and assembly sites), non-industrial sites (offices, warehouses, IT centers and R&D facilities), business travel (lease and rental cars and airplane travel) and logistics (air, sea and road transport).

Perfluorinated compounds (PFC)

A perfluorinated compound (PFC) is an organofluorine compound with all hydrogens replaced by fluorine on a carbon chain—but the molecule also contains at least one different atom or functional group. PFCs have unique properties to make materials stain, oil, and water resistant, and are widely used in diverse applications. PFCs persist in the environment as persistent organic pollutants, but unlike PCBs, they are not known to degrade by any natural processes due to the strength of the carbon–fluorine bond.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)

Polyvinyl chloride, better known as PVC or vinyl, is an inexpensive plastic so versatile it has become completely pervasive in modern society. The list of products made from polyvinyl chloride is exhaustive, ranging from phonograph records to drainage and potable piping, water bottles, cling film, credit cards and toys. More uses include window frames, rain gutters, wall paneling, doors, wallpapers, flooring, garden furniture, binders and even pens.


Philips uses Productivity internally and as mentioned in this Annual Report as a non-financial indicator of efficiency that relates the added value, being income from operations adjusted for certain items such as restructuring and acquisition-related charges etc. plus salaries and wages (including pension costs and other social security and similar charges), depreciation of property, plant and equipment, and amortization of intangibles, to the average number of employees over the past 12 months.

Regulation on Hazardous Substances (RoHS)

The RoHS Directive prohibits all new electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market in the European Economic Area from containing lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, poly-brominated biphenyls (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), except in certain specific applications, in concentrations greater than the values decided by the European Commission. These values have been established as 0.01% by weight per homogeneous material for cadmium and 0.1% for the other five substances.

Return on equity (ROE)

This ratio measures income from continuing operations as a percentage of average shareholders’ equity. ROE rates Philips’ overall profitability by evaluating how much profit the company generates with the money shareholders have invested.

Return on invested capital (ROIC)

Return on Invested Capital consists of income from continuing operations excluding results attributable to non-controlling interest holders, results relating to investments in associates and financial income and expenses, divided by the average net operating capital at year end and the preceding four quarter ends. Philips believes that ROIC information makes the underlying performance of its businesses more transparent as it relates returns to the operating capital in use.


SF6 (Sulfur hexafluoride) is used in the electrical industry as a gaseous dielectric medium.

Turnover rate of net operating capital

Sales divided by average net operating capital (calculated on the quarterly balance sheet positions).

Voluntary turnover

Voluntary turnover covers all employees who resigned of their own volition.

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE Directive) is the European Community directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment which became European Law in February 2003, setting collection, recycling and recovery targets for all types of electrical goods. The directive imposes the responsibility for the disposal of waste electrical and electronic equipment on the manufacturers of such equipment.

Weighted Average Statutory Tax Rate (WASTR)

The reconciliation of the effective tax rate is based on the applicable statutory tax rate, which is a weighted average of all applicable jurisdictions. This weighted average statutory tax rate (WASTR) is the aggregation of the result before tax multiplied by the applicable statutory tax rate without adjustment for losses, divided by the group result before tax.