VIENNA, Sept 5 Austrian lighting group Zumtobel maintained its outlook that it can boost its sales and underlying operating margin this fiscal year as it tries to get its struggling components business back on track.
Zumtobel, which is being dropped from Austria's blue-chip ATX index as of Sept. 24, posted a decline in first-quarter operating earnings bang in line with market expectations.
It said in its results statement on Wednesday that it expected stable business at its lighting segment over the months ahead, while performance at its components segment would hinge on market acceptance of new products.
"Against this backdrop, the management board confirms the previously communicated guidance for the 2012/13 financial year, which calls for an improvement in group revenues (2011/12: 1,280.3 million euros) and in the adjusted EBIT margin (2011/12: 2.7 percent)", it said.
First-quarter earnings before interest and tax fell nearly 30 percent to 12.8 million euros ($16.1 million), matching the average estimate in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Sales dipped 0.9 percent to 323.4 million euros.
In June Zumtobel abandoned its mid-term forecast for 10 percent annual revenue growth, citing a worsened economic environment, and slashed its dividend after profit plunged.
The Dornbirn-based group is the European market leader in luminaires and the global number four in the components business, which makes lamp control gear, lighting management systems and LED modules.
($1 = 0.7961 euros) (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford)