November 5, 2014 / 8:22 PM / 5 years ago

Osram fourth-quarter profit lower-than-expected, picks new CEO

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s troubled Osram (OSRn.DE) posted fourth-quarter net income sharply below expectations and appointed a new chief executive to take the reins at the lighting maker from January.

Osram, spun off from engineering group Siemens last year, is locked into a savings program that will include almost 8,000 job cuts as it seeks to keep up with a shift in technology.

The company’s net result swung back into profit of 12 million euros from a 29 million-euro loss a year earlier, but was less than half the 28 million-euro consensus forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.

“We’re faced with a high level of job reductions and heavy restructuring,” supervisory board chief Peter Bauer said on a conference call. “It’s a difficult situation.”

Osram also appointed Olaf Berlien as new chief executive to replace Wolfgang Dehen from January 2015, though made clear that the change wasn’t inspired by the company’s performance.

Quarterly sales were almost flat at 1.335 billion euros compared with 1.332 billion a year ago, the company said late on Wednesday, with full-year sales down 2.8 percent to 5.142 billion euros.

Osram plans to pay a dividend of 90 cents per share for the 2014 fiscal year and keep the dividend stable in 2015, outgoing CEO Dehen said on the call.

Reporting by Andreas Cremer, editing by David Evans

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