UPDATE 1-Inkjet printing, medical IT boost Agfa sales
* Agfa Q3 sales 766 mln euros vs 726 mln expected
* Q3 net loss 7 mln euros vs 15.3 mln loss expected (Adds share reaction, analyst comment)
BRUSSELS Nov 14 (Reuters) - Belgian imaging technology group Agfa-Gevaert reported better-than-expected sales in the third quarter on Wednesday, supported by growth in medical IT applications and industrial inkjet printing.
The group, which sold its renowned photography business in 2004, said sales in industrial inkjets grew by a double-digit percentage, while medical IT, such as digital radiography, was strong in Germany, northern Europe and Latin America.
Sales for the third quarter grew 6.5 percent to 766 million euros ($973.7 million), above the 726 million expected in a Reuters poll of five analysts.
"Even considering the favorable comparison basis and the favorable currency effect, we believe this is a solid result," analysts at Bank Degroof wrote in a note to clients.
Agfa's shares rose as much as 7.3 percent to a five-week high on Wednesday, making them the strongest performers on the Brussels bourse.
The group also made a smaller-than-expected net loss of 7 million euros, while its recurring operating profit was in line with consensus.
Agfa reduced its net financial debt to 295 million euros from 306 million at the end of the second quarter. ($1 = 0.7867 euros) (Reporting By Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)
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