Speciality chemicals maker AZ sees softer demand in H2
LONDON Aug 15 (Reuters) - AZ Electronic Materials, a maker of chemicals for Apple's iPad displays and memory chips, warned that a pick-up in demand for its products in the second half would be softer than it expected.
The company on Thursday said it was maintaining its 2013 earnings expectations, but that its customers were being cautious and improvement would be slower than anticipated.
Shares in the group, which have fallen 15 percent in the last six months, dropped as much as 10 percent to a three-month low as its outlook disappointed investors. They were trading 5.2 percent lower at 301 pence by 0706 GMT.
AZ posted a core earnings margin of 30.4 percent in the six months to June 30, having warned in April that the metric would dip below 30 percent in the period.
First-half core earnings (EBITDA) retreated 12 percent to $110.7 million compared to the year-earlier period due to a weaker sales contribution from the part of its business whose products are used in consumer electronic devices.
"We expect modest sequential revenue growth in the second half of the year and group margins for the full year similar to those reported for this half-year period," the company said in a statement.
Analysts expect the company to post core earnings of $234 million for the full-year 2013 according to a Thomson Reuters consensus poll.
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