UPDATE 1-Zumtobel warns on profit as Italy wobbles

Tue Mar 5, 2013 2:02am EST

* Zumtobel sees full-year sales, adjusted EBIT down

* Q3 sales fall 3 pct to 288 mln eur vs 297 mln poll avg

* Net loss narrows to 10 mln eur vs 3 mln loss poll avg (Adds details, background)

VIENNA, March 5 (Reuters) - Austrian lighting group Zumtobel warned on Tuesday it no longer expected sales and operating profit this financial year to match last year's as economic tensions remained high in Europe.

Zumtobel, which is struggling to profit from a switch to LED from conventional lighting, posted a 3 percent drop in quarterly sales that missed analysts' estimates and narrowed its net loss by less than expected to 10 million euros ($13 million).

"In Europe, the key market for the Zumtobel Group, there are no signs of an easing in economic tensions and visibility remains very low. There is also a real danger that the recent elections in Italy will further intensify the euro crisis."

"The management board does not expect that group revenues or adjusted EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) for the full 2012/13 financial year will reach the prior year levels," Chief Executive Harald Sommerer said.

Zumtobel's third-quarter sales were 288 million euros, below the average estimate of 297 million in a Reuters survey of six analysts, while the net loss was deeper than the 3 million euros predicted in the poll.

Dutch group Philips, the world's biggest lighting maker, posted higher sales in that business last quarter thanks to growth in LEDs (light-emitting diodes) but reported a loss due to restructuring and acquisition charges.

($1 = 0.7687 euros) (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by David Cowell and Mark Potter)

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