Signify's third-quarter earnings meet estimates, pays down debt

AMSTERDAM, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Signify NV, the world’s largest lighting maker, reported higher third-quarter core earnings, which were in line with expectations and said it had improved margins amid the coronavirus crisis.

The company said adjusted earnings before interest and amortization (EBITA) were 199 million euros ($235 million), slightly ahead of a 174 million average poll of analysts. Sales were 1.73 billion euros.

In the third quarter of 2019, the company reported adjusted EBITA of 169 million euros on sales of 1.54 billion euros.

The company repeated a July statement that it would give no outlook for 2020 as a whole given the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the company said its financial position was strong enough that it is on track to pay down net debt down by 350 million euros this year.

Signify has been cutting debt since its $1.4 billion acquisition of Cooper Lighting in March.

At the end of the quarter ended September, net debt stood at 1.59 billion euros, a reduction of about 100 million euros from the quarter before. ($1 = 0.8476 euros) (Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Rashmi Aich)