Slovenia's top household appliance maker Gorenje turned to a net loss in the first half of the year as customers cut spending, but the group said it was seeing some signs of stabilisation.

In May, Gorenje scrapped its profit forecast and lowered sales expectations as Slovenia, the eurozone's fastest growing economy in the last two years, was badly hit by the financial crisis and is seen shrinking some 4 percent this year.

The group, Slovenia's second-largest exporter, said its net loss in the first half stood at 18 million euros versus a net profit of 8 million in the year ago period.

Sales fell 8.3 percent to 568 million euros.

But after a net loss of 15 million in the first three months of the year, it recorded a shortfall of 3 million in the second quarter.

The downward trend in the scope of business activities continued in the second quarter, Gorenje said in a statement.

The scope of orders was stabilized at the level which should, according to the estimates of our sales offices abroad and branch analysts, not face significant additional decreases by the end of 2009, it said.

Gorenje shares, which are nearly flat on the year, closed 2 percent lower at 10.29 euros ahead of the results announcement.

 (Writing by Chris Borowski; Editing by John Stonestreet and David Holmes)

($1=.6997 Euro)