Austrian lighting group Zumtobel's shares plunge after profit warning

Jan 25 (Reuters) - Shares in Zumtobel slumped as much as 17 percent in morning trade after the Austrian lighting group’s announcement late on Wednesday of a steep cut to its full-year profit target.

Zumtobel shares were the worst performer on Austria’s blue-chip index on Thursday morning after its second profit warning in three months, citing a sharp revenue drop in Britain as well as aggressive price competition.

European rivals Philips Lighting and Osram were down about 2 percent.

Zumtobel had said on Wednesday that revenue in its financial year to April 30 would be down by about 8 percent and adjusted EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) would be in the range of 15 million euros to 25 million euros.

Its previous guidance was for a revenue drop of roughly 5 percent and adjusted EBIT of 50 million euros to 60 million euros.

“While the UK downturn will be more meaningful for Zumtobel than for other lighting names, considering its high exposure to this country, we think it will be equally applicable at all players active in this region, as well as the price pressure noted across Europe and the U.S.,” Morgan Stanley said.

Morgan Stanley added that, after below-consensus results at Acuity Brands and Cree in the past few weeks, Zumtobel’s announcement confirms deceleration in the U.S. market and continuing price pressure.

Baader Helvea analyst Guenther Hollfelder cut his recommendation on Zumtobel shares to “sell” from “hold”. (Reporting by Bartosz Dabrowski; Editing by David Goodman)