Schneider First-Quarter Sales Advance 7.8%, Held Back by Russia

Schneider Electric SE, the world’s biggest maker of low- and medium-voltage equipment, said a stabilization in Europe and growth in North American construction markets helped offset a slowdown in Russia and China.

Revenue climbed 7.8 percent to 6 billion euros ($6.44 billion), the company based in Rueil-Malmaison near Paris said Tuesday in a statement. Analysts had forecast 6.05 billion euros, according to the average of six estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Excluding exchange rate fluctuations, acquisitions and divestments, revenue declined 2 percent.

“First-quarter performance is broadly in line with our expectations, with the stabilization in western Europe, favorable construction market in North America and weakness in China,” the company said Tuesday in the statement. The company repeated its 2015 targets for “low single-digit organic growth” in revenue and a rising margin.

In February, it warned that it could post a decline in comparable revenue in the first quarter because of a likely soft start of the year in China and a high base of comparison at its Invensys division.

“Despite the impact in the first quarter of the change in date of fiscal year closing, Invensys is expected to contribute to the group performance on a full-year basis,” Schneider said today.

Schneider raised its full-year forecast for extra sales from positive currency effects by 500 million euros to 2 billion euros. It now expects a “limited impact” on its 2015 margin, compared with a previous estimate of “no material impact.”

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