September 26, 2019 / 7:39 AM / 18 days ago

UPDATE 1-Hearing aid maker Demant slashes outlook after cybercrime attack

(Adds share reaction, analyst)

COPENHAGEN, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Danish hearing aid maker Demant has cut its operating profit outlook for this year and suspended a share buyback after a cybercrime attack on its IT infrastructure this month, the company said on Thursday.

Shares in the company, one of the world’s largest hearing aid manufacturers, have fallen 12% since the incident was reported on Sept. 3 and fell almost 7% in early trading on Thursday.

Demant now expects earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 2-2.3 billion Danish crowns ($293-$338 million), down from a previous forecast of 2.65-2.85 billion crowns, mainly due to lost sales and “weakening growth momentum”.

The profit warning was bigger than investors had anticipated, Nordnet analyst Per Hansen said.

Demant said it was operational in most of its businesses and expected a full recovery of all systems within two to three weeks.

It remains unclear who carried out the attack, which hit every key unit including research and development, production and distribution.

Earlier this year, a cyber attack on Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro paralysed its computer networks. ($1 = 6.8158 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Andreas Mortensen Editing by Dale Hudson and Shri Navaratnam)

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