November 6, 2018 / 5:51 PM / 10 months ago

Osram to buy back more shares, keep dividend stable despite earnings drop

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German lighting group Osram (OSRn.DE) will extend its share buyback program by up to 400 million euros ($457 million) and keep its dividend stable, it said on Tuesday, despite a 2018 earnings plunge.

Preliminary figures show that the company’s diluted earnings per share dropped to 1.44 euros from 2.78 euros in its financial year to Sept. 30, the company said, adding that it would propose to keep the dividend unaltered at 1.11 euros a share.

Osram has twice cut profit guidance this year, citing sluggish demand from automakers holding off buying LED lights amid uncertainty over new car testing standards and the ongoing trade war between the United States and China.

For the current financial year Osram expects revenue to remain flat or to grow by up to 3 percent, with adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization reaching 12-14 percent of revenue.

Last year revenue rose by about 2 percent to 4.1 billion euros while the adjusted operating margin stood at 14.7 percent.

Osram has restructured to focus on optical semiconductors, automotive technologies and digital applications.

The sale of its Siteco luminaires business and discussions on the sale of its U.S. service business, Sylvania Lighting Solutions, are progressing, it said.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Adrian Croft and David Goodman

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