UPDATE 1-Lighting company Signify expects sales growth after years of decline

(Adds CEO quote, more detail)

AMSTERDAM, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Signify NV, the world’s largest lighting company, said on Wednesday it expects sales to grow in the coming years after a long period of decline and a deep slump in 2020.

In an update ahead of its annual investors day, the company predicted comparable sales growth of up to 5% for the 2021-2023 period, while it said revenue was expected to drop 13-13.5% this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Signify, which was spun off from Philips in 2016, saw sales decline for years as customers moved from conventional lights to LED, but expects the worst of that downturn is over.

“Looking ahead, we expect the headwinds facing our industry from the transition to LED to abate over the coming years”, Chief Executive Officer Eric Rondolat said.

The company said it expected its adjusted EBITA margin to improve to between 11% and 13% by 2023.

The profit margin is expected to be between 10.2% and 10.6% this year, after a slight improvement to 10.4% in 2019.

Signify had declined in October to give an outlook for 2020, as its clients were reluctant to rebuild inventory of lamps and lighting fixtures amid the pandemic.

Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Aditya Soni