July 31, 2019 / 7:44 AM / 18 days ago

Osram Licht sees no sign of business revival, reports third-quarter net loss

BERLIN (Reuters) - German lighting group Osram Licht (OSRn.DE) continues to struggle with a weak automotive industry and “economic turbulences” as the Munich-based company posted a quarterly net loss on Wednesday.

"We are not seeing any significant short-term recovery of the markets," CEO Olaf Berlien said in a statement here

Osram’s revenues in the fiscal third quarter came in at 850 million euros (£780.94 million), down 9.2% year-on-year, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were down 66.2% to 42 million euros.

The company swung to a net loss of 35 million euros after a profit of 42 million euros a year before, pointing to “transformation costs”.

While Osram affirmed its full-year forecast, it said medium to long term visibility remained limited. “Economic developments for our markets beyond the current year cannot be predicted with any certainty at present.”

Berlien, who took over in 2015, has sought to transform Osram from a light bulb maker into a high-tech group that builds chips, provides digital lighting systems and supplies sensors and other components.

But his plan has failed to win over investors and the company has faced headwinds, particularly in its main auto segment, where revenues were down 12.5%.

Osram also said that its managing and supervisory boards formally recommended an offer from private equity firms Bain and Carlyle (CG.O) to buy the company for 3.4 billion euros.

“With their financial strength, Bain and Carlyle will support the ongoing transformation and enable strategically important decisions to be made,” Berlien said.

Osram’s boards earlier in July had already backed the takeover offer.

Reporting by Thomas Seythal, editing by Louise Heavens

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