UPDATE 1-Invensys says trading 'solid' as Schneider talks continue

Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:36am EDT

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* Peformance in Q1 in line with expecations

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LONDON July 25 (Reuters) - British engineer Invensys , the target of a takeover approach from France's Schneider Electric, said on Thursday it had made a "solid start" to the year.

Invensys, which produces software that helps to run power stations, oil refineries and chemical plants, said revenue in the first quarter was slightly behind the same period last year, as expected, but operating profit was significantly ahead.

The company said it is still discussing the 3.3 billion pound ($5.1 billion) takeover proposal it received on July 11 from French industrial group Schneider, which has until Aug. 8 to say whether it intends to make a firm offer or walk away under UK takeover rules.

Invensys has long been mooted as a takeover target in an industry dominated by larger rivals, particularly after the disposal of its rail unit last year to strengthen its balance sheet and pension fund.

The reorganisation after the rail disposal remains on course to deliver cost savings of 20 million pounds during the current financial year and a further 5 million pounds the following year, it said.

This, as well as growth in its higher-margin software division, is expected to boost performance for the year.

Shares in Invensys, which said it was likely to recommend Schneider's offer of 505 pence a share, closed down 1.1 percent on Wednesday at 498 pence, below the potential offer but at a 13 percent premium to the stock's price before the bid approach.

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