UPDATE 1-Lighting maker Signify reports 62% jump in profit

(Updates with CEO)

AMSTERDAM, July 24 (Reuters) - Signify NV, the world’s biggest lighting maker, reported a 62% jump in second-quarter net profit on Friday helped by a tax windfall and lower restructuring charges.

The company, which was spun off from Philips in 2016, said it plans to pay down 350 million euros ($406 million) in gross debt this year.

Net profit rose to 81 million euros ($94 million) while sales slipped 0.6% to 1.47 billion euros, Signify said.

Sales were boosted by Signify’s $1.4 billion acquisition of Cooper Lighting which closed in March and without that deal would have fallen 23%, it said.

Analysts had expected a profit of 5 million euros on sales of 1.38 billion, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

CEO Eric Rondolat said that the economic fallout from the pandemic is still strongly affecting the company, and the decline in underlying sales in the second quarter was due to falling demand in many parts of the world.

“We see a major impact in countries like India, in countries in the Asia region, but also in some countries in Europe: France, Spain, Italy and the UK.”

Signify shares, which closed at 25.64 euros on Thursday down 8% year to date, have seen a strong rally since mid-April.

$1 = 0.8629 euros Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Jason Neely