D’Ieteren SA plummeted the most in more than 16 months in Brussels trading after the owner of the world’s largest vehicle-glass repair company warned that earnings will drop at least 10 percent in 2013 after a deeper-than-projected slide this year.
Shares of D’Ieteren plunged as much as 22 percent, the steepest slide since Aug. 5, 2011, and were down 5.81 euros, or 16 percent, at 30.92 euros apiece at 10:02 a.m. Brussels time.
D’Ieteren, based in Brussels, said on Dec. 21 that its 2013 pretax profit excluding one-time items could decline by 10 percent to 15 percent and that it now sees this year’s earnings on that basis down about 30 percent, compared with a Nov. 8 estimate of a 25 percent drop.
D’Ieteren blamed “the persistent negative trends in the vehicle glass repair and replacement markets” for the change in its 2012 estimate. “In case such trends were to continue into the new year, despite probably more normal weather conditions,” D’Ieteren said it would “anticipate a further decline of roughly 10 percent to 15 percent.”
KBC analyst Pascale Weber called the profit warning a “nasty Christmas present” and downgraded D’Ieteren stock to hold from buy. The business model of Belron, the 93 percent-owned vehicle-glass unit, is “less resilient than we had expected,” Weber said in a note to clients.
D’Ieteren cut about 400 jobs at Belron in the U.K. and the Netherlands this year. Belron operates in 34 countries under brand names such as Carglass, Autoglass and Safelite.