October 26, 2018 / 6:02 AM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-Lighting maker Signify Q3 core profit rises as cost cuts offset sales decline

(Adds cut in sales forecast, CEO quote, more detail)

AMSTERDAM, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Dutch lighting maker Signify said third-quarter core profit rose 8 percent to 191 million euros ($217.1 million) due to cost cuts, beating analyst expectations, offsetting an ongoing decline in sales.

Revenue dropped 5 percent to 1.59 billion euros, as the market for traditional lamps continued to shrink, while sales of LED lamps also dropped on slower demand in Europe and the U.S., the company said in a statement on Friday.

“Our sales performance was impacted by more challenging market conditions in several geographies,” Chief Executive Eric Rondolat said in a statement, as he cut his sales forecast for the second time in three months.

The world’s largest lighting maker now expects comparable sales to decrease in the second half of the year, in roughly the same pace as the 3.4 percent drop recorded in the first 6 months of 2018. In July, Signify said sales growth would pick up in the remainder of the year.

The company, formerly known as Philips Lighting, said comparable sales fell in all its geographies in the third quarter, while profitability was increased by cutting down costs.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast earnings before interest, taxes and amortisation (EBITA) of 173 million euros, on 1.61 billion euros in sales.

$1 = 0.8799 euros Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Sunil Nair

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