January 18, 2017 / 12:32 PM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-Cloetta mulls sale of Italian business, flags impairment

(Adds detail, background)

Jan 18 (Reuters) - Swedish candy maker Cloetta said on Wednesday it had launched a strategic review of its Italian business with the aim to boost the group's growth and margins, and it would book an impairment for the Italian unit in the fourth quarter.

 Says strategic review might include a divestment of Cloetta Italy, which would improve Cloetta's EBIT margin

* Cloetta Italy impairment includes impairment of goodwill and trademarks, will lead to a non-recurring cost item of 771 mln SEK before tax

 Impairment will not affect Cloetta's net debt/EBITDA or dividend capacity

* In 2016, Cloetta's sales in Italy amounted to 750 mln SEK. In 2015, Italy sales accounted for 13 pct of group sales

* Cloetta shares fall 4.1 pct at 1224 GMT

* Cloetta's main markets, where Cloetta has its own sales and distribution organisations, are Sweden, Italy, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark

* Cloetta said in 2016 that out of its markets', the Italian grocery trade is the most fragmented, which among other things demands a bigger sales organisaation Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Reporting by Rebecka Roos)

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