UPDATE 1-Zumtobel restructuring boosts first-quarter profit

Tue Sep 3, 2013 1:49am EDT

* Q1 adjusted EBIT 18 mln eur vs Reuters poll avg 14 mln

* Sales 309 mln eur of which LED 89 mln

* No signs of easing in economic tensions, no FY forecast (Adds details on revenues, outlook, background)

VIENNA, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Austrian lighting group Zumtobel , in the throes of management upheaval, reported a 41 percent rise in first-quarter operating profit thanks to restructuring measures.

Zumtobel, which like rival Osram is grappling with an industry shift from traditional light bulbs to light-emitting diodes (LEDs), posted adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 18 million euros ($24 million) on Tuesday.

Analysts had expected adjusted EBIT of 14 million euros on average for the three months to end-July, according to a Reuters poll.

Revenues fell 4 percent to 309 million euros, said Zumtobel, whose two top executives are leaving at the end of the month to be replaced by Ulrich Schumacher, the flamboyant former chief of Siemens semiconductor and Infineon.

Sales of LED products rose 50 percent to 89 million euros, accounting for 29 percent of group sales, up from 18 percent a year earlier.

Zumtobel said it could still give no forecast for the rest of its financial year. "There are no signs of an easing in the current economic tensions and visibility remains very low," it said in a statement.

Zumtobel's problems reflect strife between the management and supervisory boards as well as industry challenges.

Osram hiked its 2013 profit outlook in July as its own restructuring progressed faster than expected, while Philips doubled core profit at its lighting unit, the world's largest, last quarter.

Zumtobel trades at 20 times 12-month forward earnings estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, making it more expensive than Osram, at 14 times. ($1 = 0.7582 euros) (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by David Cowell)

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