Dutch Philips Electronics warned markets were still uncertain despite reporting first-quarter operating profit above the most optimistic expectations fueled by its Lighting unit and cost cuts.

First-quarter earnings before interest, taxes and amortization (EBITA) rose to 504 million euros ($705 million) from a 74 million euro loss a year ago, while the average forecast given in a Reuters poll of 19 analyst was 294 million euros, with the top estimate at 308 million euros.

Nevertheless, economic uncertainty remains high and consumer confidence low, Chief Executive Gerard Kleisterlee said in a statement on Monday.

Philips added market developments for the second half year remained uncertain, while first-quarter sales momentum was expected to continue in the second quarter.

Revenue rose 12 percent to 5.7 billion euros, while net profit was 201 million euros, up from a 57 million euro loss in the same period last year.

Philips, a bellwether for the technology sector, is the world's biggest lighting maker and Europe's biggest consumer electronics producer.

The company, whose products range from MP3 players and digital photo frames to MRI scanners, toasters and shavers, competes with the healthcare and lighting units of General Electric and Germany's Siemens , among others.

On Friday General Electric beat analysts' expectations and reported strong results at its Healthcare unit.

(Reporting by Harro ten Wolde)