Assa Abloy Q2 sales growth weaker than expected

Reuters

* Weak sales in global technologies weighs

* Lock maker says strong performance in EMEA, Asia Pacific (Adds details)

STOCKHOLM, July 18 (Reuters) - Assa Abloy, the world's biggest lock maker, posted on Friday worse than expected like-for-like sales growth in the second quarter, dragged down by weaker project sales in Global Technologies despite strong growth in Europe and Asia Pacific.

Assa, which makes locks under brands including Yale and Pan Pan, has seen demand recover up the past quarters, mainly in the United States, but recently also in its biggest market, Europe, where the debt crisis weighed on demand for years.

"Organic growth during the second quarter was a little lower than in the beginning of the year. However, the quarter had one fewer working day than the previous year as well as weaker project sales for Global Technologies," Chief Executive Johan Molin said in a statement.

Global Technologies sales were hit by weak government ID and project orders while business in access control had been stable.

The company, which has racked up dozens of acquisitions in recent years to expand its position in a fragmented industry, said sales excluding acquisitions and currency swings rose 2 percent year on year - below analysts' expectations of 3.6 percent.

Assa, a rival to U.S. Ingersoll-Rand and Stanley Black & Decker, said earnings before interest, tax and one-off items rose to 2.2 billion Swedish crowns from a year-ago 2.0 billion, against a mean forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts of 2.2 billion.

"Our strategy therefore remains unchanged, to reduce our dependence on mature markets and to expand strongly in the emerging markets, which are expected to go on growing well," Molin said.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Alistair Scrutton)

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