April 26, 2019 / 5:42 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Signify Q1 core earnings improve on cost-cutting measures

(Updates with details)

AMSTERDAM, April 26 (Reuters) - Signify NV, the world’s biggest maker of lights, on Friday reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings, due to cost-saving measures.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, and amortisation (EBITA) were 115 million euros ($128 million) for the three months ended March 31, compared with 106 million euros in the same period a year ago.

Analysts polled for Reuters had expected EBITA at 110 million euros. Signify, the former lighting division of Philips, was spun off in 2016.

Sales fell by 1.5 percent to 1.48 billion euros, as modest growth in the Americas was not enough to offset weakness in Europe and China. A continued long-term decline in traditional incandescent lamp sales also added to the pressure.

The company maintained its outlook of 2-5 percent growth in its LED, professional and networked home lighting business lines for 2019.

Market conditions “remain challenging”, but the company expects to further improve its operating efficiency this year, Chief Executive Eric Rondolat said in a statement.

He was “satisfied” with the company’s overall performance “against the backdrop of headwinds in China and Europe”.

The company reiterated an ambitious adjusted EBITA margin target of at least 11 percent by this year-end. It came in at 7.8 percent in the first quarter, up from 7.0 percent a year ago. ($1 = 0.8981 euros) (Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Rashmi Aich)

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