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UPDATE 2-Kion cuts 2017 profit guidance as customers delay investments
October 19, 2017 / 6:32 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 2-Kion cuts 2017 profit guidance as customers delay investments

* Says customers hesitate to invest in warehouse automation

* Cut forecast for FY revenue to between 7.4 bln euros and 7.7 bln

* Cuts outlook for adjusted EBIT to between 715 mln and 765 mln

* CFO says sees delays to orders as temporary

* Shares drop more than 12 percent (Adds CFO comments, share price, analyst comment)

By Anneli Palmen and Maria Sheahan

FRANKFURT, Oct 19 (Reuters) - German forklift truck and robotics maker Kion has cut its 2017 revenue and profit guidance, saying some customers had pushed back investments in areas like automated warehouse systems where it recently made a multi-billion dollar investment.

Shares in Kion slumped 12.3 percent to a three-month low of 67.46 euros by 1057 GMT. Its rival Jungheinrich fell 4.7 percent.

Kion spent $2.1 billion euros to buy U.S.-based Dematic last year, expanding into the market for automated warehouses and supply chains that has ballooned with the growth of e-commerce.

But it said on Thursday its customers had been hesitant to invest and had delayed project decisions, partly due to Amazon.com’s growing dominance of the sector, causing warehouse automation orders to fall short of Kion’s expectations in the first nine months of the year.

“This is not a fundamental trend but merely a short-term effect,” finance chief Thomas Toepfer told Reuters, saying all of Kion’s e-commerce customers would eventually have to invest in automation and efficient warehouse technology.

Morgan Stanley analysts said, however, they expected Kion had also lost market share to competitors such as Honeywell .

Kion cut its forecast for full-year group revenue to between 7.4 billion euros ($8.8 billion) and 7.7 billion, from between 7.5 billion and 7.95 billion, below an average analyst forecast of 7.87 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data.

It cut its outlook for adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to between 715 million euros and 765 million, from 740 million to 800 million, compared with consensus for 749 million.

CFO Toepfer said the new guidance assumed the price of steel, iron and rubber did not rise even further, after price increases accelerated in the third quarter.

Kion is due to publish full quarterly results on Oct. 26. Honeywell reports results on Friday, and Jungheinrich on Nov. 7. ($1 = 0.8457 euros) (Editing by Jason Neely and David Holmes)

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