UPDATE 1-Sweden's Elekta posts surprise Q1 operating loss, shares fall

Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:29am EDT

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STOCKHOLM Aug 28 (Reuters) - Medical technology group Elekta posted on Thursday a surprise operating loss in the first quarter and lowered its outlook slightly for the fiscal year 2014/2015, sending its shares down over 7 percent.

Elekta now expects its earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) to rise about 10 percent in local currencies compared to the previous year, lower than a previous guidance of growth of 10 or more percent.

The company made an adjusted EBITA loss of 38 million Swedish crowns ($6.9 million) in the May-July period compared to a profit of 148 million crowns a year ago and a mean profit forecast of 185 million in a Reuters poll of analysts.

"The lower result is an effect of the lower gross profit combined with cost increases according to plan," Elekta said.

Elekta said growth was slower than expected in mature markets, especially in the United States.

"North America had a weak quarter mainly due to delays in planned software installations. Software revenues are expected to recover during this fiscal year," Elekta said.

Order bookings rose 12 percent to 2.34 billion crowns from 2.03 billion a year ago, higher than the expected 2.26 billion crowns.

Elekta expects net sales to grow 7 to 9 percent in local currencies for the fiscal year 2014/15 and said it now saw the fiscal year finishing at the lower end of the range.

By 1213 GMT, Elekta shares were down 7.4 percent, while the wider Stockholm share index was down 1.1 percent.

(1 US dollar = 6.9831 Swedish crown) (Reporting by Rebecka Roos and Olof Swahnberg; editing by Sabina Zawadzki)

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