October 15, 2019 / 7:11 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Britain's Renishaw first-quarter profit tanks 85% as demand slumps

(Adds details on results, background)

Oct 15 (Reuters) - British engineering group Renishaw Plc said on Tuesday its first-quarter profit plummeted 85%, dented by a slump in demand for its precision measurement equipment and ongoing global trade disputes, sending shares 11% lower.

Statutory profit before tax for the three months ended Sept. 30 came in at 5.1 million pounds ($6.47 million) compared with 33.5 million pounds a year ago, the company said, with revenue diving nearly 19% in its biggest unit - metrology.

In May, Renishaw had cut its annual profit forecast for the second time in less than two months as customer demand remained weak. The engineering firm had also cited weak sales in Asia and soft demand from consumer electronics makers.

First-quarter sales were lifted by large orders from end-user manufacturers of consumer electronic products in the Asia Pacific region, the company said, adding that sales failed to get a similar boost this time around.

The company also experienced reduced demand for its products as a result of the challenging global macroeconomic environment.

Renishaw, which has a market capitalisation of 2.6 billion pounds ($3.29 billion), makes precision measurement equipment used in products ranging from jet engines and smartphones to medical equipment and satellites through its metrology business.

“Trading conditions are expected to remain challenging through the remainder of this financial year driven by the global macroeconomic environment,” the company said.

Shares in Renishaw were down 11.35% at 3,136 pence in early trade.

$1 = 0.7893 pounds Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain and Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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