* Narrows operating loss to 23 mln DKK from 114 mln
* Europe sales improves due to strong demand for B&O
* Cheaper Play brand disappoints -analyst
(Adds quotes from CEO, analyst, details)
COPENHAGEN, April 11 Danish luxury audio
equipment and television maker Bang & Olufsen narrowed
its operating loss in the third quarter due to improvements in
its European business, it reported on Friday.
The company's loss before interest and tax fell to 28
million Danish crowns ($5.21 million) in the three months to
end-February compared with a loss of 114 million crowns a year
"In the third quarter we saw signs of improvement in our
European business, which was driven by strong demand for our
newly launched speakers in particular and AV (audio visual)
products in general," chief executive Tue Mantoni said in the
report, adding that he believed the improvements in the European
AV business will continue.
B&O's cheaper Play brand, targeted at a younger customer
group, saw a sales set-back, and Mantoni said it was due to the
focus on AV activities and "too low a level of new product
Sydbank analyst Soren Lontoft Hansen said that B&O's third
quarter results were weaker than he had expected.
"Play is especially disappointing, and I am a bit surprised
by that," Lontoft said.
The group repeated 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
Shares in Bang & Olufsen were 6.9 percent lower at 0712 GMT
while the Danish benchmark index was 1.0 percent
($1=5.3787 Danish Crowns)
(Reporting by Teis Jensen, additional reporting by Annabella
Nielsen; editing by Greg Mahlich and Keiron Henderson)