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AMSTERDAM, April 21 (Reuters) - Philips Lighting, the world's biggest lighting maker, on Friday reported a 17 percent increase in first-quarter core earnings, beating expectations on strength in Europe that led to rising LED sales that offset declining sales of traditional bulbs.
Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, and amortisation (EBITA) were 142 million euros ($152.18 million) from 121 million in the same period a year earlier. Sales fell 0.7 percent to 1.69 billion euros.
Analysts polled for Reuters had seen sales down 2 percent and EBITA at 136 million euros. ($1 = 0.9331 euros) (Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)