Schneider cuts 2011 margin target, keeps sales goal

By Elena Berton

A combination of higher inflation in emerging markets, restructuring charges and the economic slowdown in countries such as Spain will put pressure on margins despite sales growing in line with expectations, the company said on Thursday.

Schneider said it expected a margin on earnings before interest, tax and amortization (EBITA) before integration and acquisition costs of around 14 percent, down from 15 percent.

Schneider, which makes electrical power and industrial equipment, kept its sales forecast for the year. "We are ... comfortable with our 2011 organic growth guidance of 6 percent to 9 percent," chief executive Jean-Pascal Tricoire said.

Third-quarter sales rose 7.7 percent to 5.7 billion euros ($7.87 billion), driven by strong demand for power equipment in emerging countries.

Schneider shares, which have lost around 20 percent of their value this year, closed at 44.62 euros on Wednesday.

($1 = 0.725 euro)

(Editing by James Regan and Dan Lalor)