Zetes sees retail order recovery after weak start to 2012

BRUSSELS Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:50am EDT

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BRUSSELS Aug 30 (Reuters) - Belgian barcode and passport firm Zetes said that it expected revenues to improve in the second half after a difficult start to the year left first-half core profit down 41 percent.

The company reported 5.3 million euros ($6.64 million) of current core profit (EBITDA) in the first half of 2012, and forecast that EBITDA in the second half would be around 9 million euros.

Analysts polled by Reuters on average expect an EBITDA of 16.5 million euros for the year.

"What we have seen mainly in the first quarter was a big slowdown in investment from the retailers and logistics companies, and all of sudden a big improvement in the second quarter," Zetes Chief Executive Alain Wirtz told Reuters.

But that recovery would not be enough to account for the loss in sales earlier in the year, he said, the result of lower orders its for retail-focused product tracking technology, part of the Goods ID division.

Wirtz said the firm had a good pipeline of investments for the second half of the year for personal identity documents, and said he expected its People ID division to perform above the company's own forecasts. ($1 = 0.7982 euros) (Reporting By Ethan Bilby; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)

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