VIENNA Dec 5 Zumtobel is to cut costs
to cope with a tough business environment after the Austrian
lighting group reported lower second quarter sales and profits.
In June, the company abandoned its mid-term forecast for 10
percent annual revenue growth due to a deteriorating economic
climate and slashed its dividend after profits plunged.
But Zumtobel said on Wednesday it would keep its outlook for
higher sales and underlying operating margin for its current
Chief Executive Harald Sommerer said the company aimed to
adapt its costs "rapidly" to the level of demand. He said this
would include adjusting "personnel capacity" and cutting selling
and administrative costs.
The Dornbirn-based company is the European market leader in
luminaire lighting units and the global number four in the
components business, which makes lamp control gear, lighting
management systems and LED modules.
The group's shares were up 0.6 percent in early trade.
Zumtobel, which dropped out of Austria's blue-chip ATX index
in September, said its second-quarter margin fell to 5.9
percent from 7.5 percent a year earlier as sales dipped 1.7
percent to 335 million euros ($438 million).
Analysts polled by Reuters had on average expected sales of
339 million euros and earnings before interest and tax of 19.7
million in the quarter to October.
Its lighting segment boosted first-half sales and market
share while its struggling components segment saw sales fall 9
percent despite a slight increase in the second quarter versus
the prior three months, it said.
"Visible progress has also been made in developing a new
generation of competitive LED converters and LED modules,
and the first products will be brought to market before the end
of the 2012 calendar year," the company said.
The group generated 1.28 billion euros in sales and an
adjusted core profit margin of 2.7 percent in its 2011/12 year.
($1 = 0.7642 euros)
(Reporting by Michael Shields. Editing by Jane Merriman)