Dutch maker of photocopier and printing systems Oce NV posted a third-quarter loss and sharply declining revenues due to weak European markets, but said it saw early signs of bottoming out in some U.S. markets.
For the quarter to Aug. 31 the company, which competes with Xerox, Konica Minolta and Canon, reported a 25 million euros net loss. This compared with a loss of 24 million euros in the same quarter last year and analysts' expectations for a loss between 17 million and 31 million.
Revenue fell more than expected, down 10 percent to 631 million euros compared with forecasts of 642 million to 659 million.
On balance we describe the third-quarter results as poor, Petercam analyst Eric de Graaf said, adding that especially revenue was below expectations. It is clear that markets are and will remain weak for some time to come, he said.
Shares in Oce were down 5.3 percent at 4.10 euros by 0800 GMT, underperforming a 2 percent fall in the Amsterdam midcap index .AMX.
Chief Financial Officer Hans Kerkhoven said he expected markets to remain challenging in the fourth quarter, although in the United States banking and insurance may show some signs of bottoming out.
For two years we hardly had any large orders in that segment but now we see some large orders coming in. So it looks (like) a bit of peace has returned in that segment after the past turmoil, Kerkhoven said, adding that in the construction and manufacturing sectors he saw hardly any improvement.
Kerkhoven said that it was unlikely that revenue would recover in the fourth quarter and that he would remain focused on lowering costs.
Oce, has cut 1,170 jobs so far this year and is targeting total cuts of 2,350 jobs between 2008 and 2010.
(Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)