October 19, 2018 / 7:10 AM / in a month

UPDATE 1-Husqvarna's Q3 profit tumbles, looks to improve in 2019

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STOCKHOLM, Oct 19 (Reuters) - Husqvarna, the world’s biggest maker of lawn mowers, reported an operating profit of 225 million crowns ($24.9 million) on Friday, in line with a warning last month that its third quarter profit would halve.

The results excluded restructuring costs of 349 million crowns and marked a fall from 433 million crowns a year earlier.

Husqvarna last month blamed the fall on unfavourable weather, restructuring and rising trade tariffs.

On Friday it said its top priority for 2019 would be to “restore the improvement momentum” through price increases and cost savings.

Success in doing that would “form the base to achieve the 10 percent operating margin target in 2019,” Chief Executive Kai Warn said in a statement.

The firm announced in July that it will restructure its Consumer Brands division, which makes petrol lawnmowers and garden tractors, after it fell to a loss in the second quarter.

It expects annual savings from the restructuring of around 250 million crowns with full effect from 2020.

The Swedish company does the bulk of its business towards the end of the first quarter and in the second - ahead of and during peak gardening season.

While traditional petrol-engined mowers, trimmers and chainsaws account for a large chunk of Husqvarna’s sales, the company is betting on strong growth in automatic mowers as well as battery-driven handheld tools that are greener, less noisy and vibrate less.

$1 = 9.0278 Swedish crowns Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; editing by Jason Neely

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