Schneider lifts 2010 targets, targets Russia acquisition

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French electrical engineering giant Schneider Electric reported on Wednesday a sharp rebound in third-quarter sales, raised its 2010 margin target and said it planned to buy a stake in a Russian company.

The company said it made sales of 5.446 billion euros (7.53 billion dollars) in the third quarter, an increase of 37.9 percent on a current structure and exchange rate basis on a 12-month basis.

On a comparable asset base, sales rose by 11.9 percent, it added.

"All our end-markets are now past their trough, even though non-residential construction and energy and infrastructure remain at a low level in many mature countries," President and CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire said in a statement.

"In view of our recent performance, we now expect second-half organic growth to be at a high single digit rate," he said.

The company also increased its forecast for its full-year operating margin to 15.5-16 percent, before charges related the restructuring costs and consolidation impact of Areva Distribution are taken into account.

Schneider Electric also announced it had reached agreement to purchase a 50-percent stake in the Russian company Electroshield-TM Samara for 10.7 billion rubles (265 million euros) on a debt-free and cash-free basis.

It said the acquisition of Electroshield-TM Samara, a leader in medium voltage products and solutions in Russia, would strengthen its position in Russia and consolidate its global leadership position in the medium voltage market segment.

© 2010 AFP

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