UPDATE 1-B&O's loss widens on weak European markets

Wed Oct 2, 2013 2:59am EDT

* Q1 pretax loss 68 mln crowns vs 64 mln loss a year ago

* Q1 revenue 566 mln crowns vs 600 mln a year ago

* Keeps full-year outlook unchanged (Adds details, analyst comment)

COPENHAGEN, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Danish luxury stereo and television maker Bang & Olufsen (B&O) posted a wider first-quarter loss on Wednesday as sluggish European sales eclipsed strong growth in Asia.

The company reported a pretax loss of 68 million Danish crowns ($12.3 million) in the first quarter of its 2013/14 financial year against a loss of 64 million in the same quarter last year. Revenue fell by 6 percent to 566 million crowns.

The group's Play brand, a cheaper product range targeted at a younger consumer group than its traditional B&O brand, and its Automotive business both achieved a double-digit percentage growth in sales, the company said.

Overall revenue in Brazil, Russia, India and China, grew by 28 percent compared to the same quarter last year.

"These positive developments were outweighed by continued challenges in the audio-visual business, especially in Europe," chief executive Tue Mantoni said in a statement.

The group, which issued two profit warnings during the 2012/13 financial year, kept its full-year forecast for revenue moderately above the 2012/13 level of 2.81 billion crowns, and for earnings before interest and tax to be around the break even level.

"They are on their way forward, especially in Europe, but they are moving slower than expected, and it is still a long journey," analyst Jesper Christensen from Alm. Brand Bank said.

The group has posted annual net losses in three of the past five years.

B&O's German competitor in the high-end TV market, Loewe AG , filed for insolvency on Tuesday and its chief executive told Reuters that it needs to find an investor before the end of the year to avert closure.

($1 = 5.5145 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Teis Jensen, additional reporting by Stine Jacobsen, Editing by Mark Potter)

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