April 29, 2020 / 6:18 AM / a month ago

Lockmaker Assa Abloy braces for pandemic pain in coming months

STOCKHOLM, April 29 (Reuters) - Swedish Assa Abloy warned on Wednesday of big declines in sales and profitability in the coming months due to the raging pandemic as it reported a steep fall in first-quarter earnings, matching a preliminary reading.

The world’s biggest lockmaker said operating profit was 2.75 billion crowns ($279 million) against a year-earlier 3.25 billion, in line with a warning on April 7 that the COVID-19 pandemic had hit its Asian business hard and begun to dent profitability also elsewhere.

“Assuming that the demand in our core markets will continue to be significantly affected by COVID-19, as experienced in many markets since February, we expect our sales and our operating margin in the coming months to be significantly lower than in the first quarter,” it said. ($1 = 9.8548 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard)

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