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Rheinmetall Reduces Profit Forecast as Customers Cut Back

July 29 (Bloomberg) -- Rheinmetall AG reduced its annual profit forecast as countries that are key customers of the maker of armored military vehicles cut budgets.

Earnings before interest and taxes before restructuring measures at the Dusseldorf, Germany-based company were projected to be 180 million euros to 200 million euros, short of a previous forecast of 240 million euros to 260 million euros.

The company confirmed its outlook for its automotive unit. Annual sales probably will be 4.7 billion euros to 4.8 billion euros, Rheinmetall said in an e-mailed statement today. Operating EBIT for the defense unit is forecast at 60 million euros to 70 million euros, compared with a previous projection of 130 million euros.

The company that supplies guns for the U.S. Abrams heavy tank and pistons to General Motors Co. reduced its annual defense sales forecast to 2.3 billion euros from 2.4 billion euros.

Rheinmetall shares dropped 4.7 percent to 38.58 euros as of 7:20 p.m. in Frankfurt.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Morgan in Frankfurt at jmorgan157@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net

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