(Recasts with outlook, adds shares, comments)
MILAN Aug 1 Italy's Prysmian, the
world's largest cable maker, on Thursday confirmed its outlook
for the full year, even though weakness in the construction
sector hit its first-half result.
The group, which operates in 50 countries at 91 plants, said
it expected to report adjusted earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the full year of
between 600-650 million euros ($794-860 million).
The group achieved a full-year adjusted EBITDA of 647
million euros last year.
"We believe that the centre point of the guidance is a
reasonable, good challenge for the group," CEO Valerio Battista
said in a conference call.
Prysmian shares extended earlier gains after the results,
closing up 7 percent at 16.35 euros, nearly a two-month high,
and topping Italy's blue-chip FTSE MIB index.
"This company is perfectly capable of hitting at least the
central part of the guidance on EBITDA at year end," a
Milan-based analyst said, adding that he would keep a positive
view on the stock.
The group, which manufactures cables used in the energy and
telecoms industries, said adjusted EBITDA for the six months
ended June fell 8.3 percent to 282 million euros ($374 million),
as the economic crisis took its toll on construction.
The result was roughly in line with a consensus estimate of
280 million provided by the company, while sales fell 5.3
percent to 3.622 billion euros.
"Despite the beginnings of a stabilisation phase,(the
market) remains difficult, especially because of the
construction industry crisis in Europe and uncertainties over
broadband stimulus programmes in North and South America,"
Battista added in a statement.
Battista said profitability was expected to improve in the
second half, particularly thanks to the business for high
voltage underground and submarine cables for power transmission,
whose order book has risen to more than 2.8 billion euros.
The group added, however, that demand would remain weak for
low and medium voltage cables for utilities and for building
wires, while the business of onshore wind and solar power
generation cables was also contracting, due to uncertainties
around government incentives.($1 = 0.7557 euros)
(Reporting by Agnieszka Flak and Massimo Gaia; Editing by