(Adds Pelco buy)
PARIS, Aug 1 (Reuters) - French electrical engineering group Schneider (SCHN.PA) said on Wednesday first-half net profit rose 21 percent to 729 million euros ($998.9 million) due to booming demand in emerging countries and acquisitions.
Fresh from acquiring American Power Conversion for $6.1 billion, its biggest buy ever, Schneider said it had agreed to pay a total of $1.54 billion to buy video security systems specialist Pelco.
First-half sales rose 25 percent to 8.254 billion, or 14.0 percent on a like-for-like basis, and Schneider increased its 2007 full-year target for like-for-like sales growth to above 10 percent, from a previous target of 8 percent in April.
Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) was up 23 percent at 1.175 billion euros. EBITA margin rose 0.5 points to 14.2 percent, including APC.
Return on capital employed was up 1 point to 10.9 percent.
The average forecast of 10 analysts for net profit was 722 million euros on sales of 8.166 billion euros.
Schneider said recent acquisitions such as APC, Merten and GET had added 986 million euros to sales while the weaker dollar had reduced sales by 208 million euros or 3.6 percent.
Schneider confirmed it was on track to achieve its annual cost savings target of $220 million by 2011.
((Reporting by Marcel Michelson, editing by Sue Thomas
Telephone: +33 1 4949 5130))
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