UPDATE 1-Spain's Applus shares slide on warning of slower revenue growth
* H2 revenue growth to slow
* CEO says due to delays in U.S. projects
* CEO says no fundamental change in markets (Includes interview with CEO, updates shares)
By Robert Hetz
MADRID, July 29 (Reuters) - Shares in Spanish industrial testing and inspection services firm Applus tumbled more than 13 percent on Tuesday after the company warned of slower revenue growth in the second half of the year.
"There have been a few delays in some projects (in the United States) which we thought were going to happen this year," Chief Executive Officer Fernando Basabe told Reuters in an interview, adding the U.S. pipeline market had been very strong for the company in recent years, meaning earnings could be comparatively weaker.
Applus warned earlier on Tuesday in its first-half results that it expected revenue growth, at constant exchange rates, "to be somewhat less than in the first half."
In its first earnings statement since its flotation on the stock exchange in May, Applus posted a 2.6 percent rise in first-half revenues to 781 million euros ($1.1 billion) from a year earlier. Organic revenues at constant exchange rates grew 7.3 percent.
The company said it still expected a positive trend in profit and cash flow growth. Applus swung to a net profit of 5.9 million euros in the first half of 2014 from a 72.3 million euro loss a year earlier.
The company's shares were down by just over 13 percent at 1225 GMT, at 12.29 euros apiece.
They were listed in an initial public offering at 14.50 euros per share, when shareholders led by private equity group Carlyle sold 800 million euros of their stock and the company raised 300 million euros from issuing new shares.
"It's true that the market expected growth in our organic revenue of 8 percent (for 2014) and now we have said the figure will be around 5 percent," Basabe said.
But he said the trends that had driven the company remained intact.
"There is no fundamental change in the market," Basabe said in the interview.
Citi bank said in a note to clients the guidance would mean analysts would have to revise their earnings per share estimates. "There is risk to consensus second half forecasts," said the bank. (Reporting by Robert Hetz, Writing by Sarah Morris, Editing by Sarah White and Mark Potter)