Philips Plans to Double African Presence to 20 Countries by 2016

Royal Philips NV (PHIA) plans to establish a local presence in 10 new African countries over the next two years as the world’s biggest lighting manufacturer takes advantage of sales growth rates of about 30 percent a year.

“We are just trying to have a good spread across the sub-Sahara belt,” Chief Executive Officer Frans van Houten said in an interview in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, where he is attending the World Economic Forum. “Africa for Philips is still too small, but it’s growing at a phenomenal rate.”

Many international companies are boosting their presence in African economies that are growing faster than domestic markets in Europe and the U.S. Nigeria, the continent’s biggest economy, will expand by 6.75 percent this year, the government has said. Foreign direct investment rose 28 percent to $21.3 billion last year, and stood at $2.5 billion in the first two months of 2014, according to the statistics office.

The expansion will see Amsterdam-based Philips double the number of African countries where it has local operations to 20, van Houten said. It’s opened offices in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda in recent years.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Kay in Abuja at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at John Bowker, Robert Valpuesta

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.