GN Store Nord upgrades guidance as profit spikes 50 pct

Reuters

* Third-quarter EBITA up more than 50 pct to 294 mln DKK

* Upgrades full-year EBITA guidance to 1.29 bln DKK from1.24 bln

* Announces new long-term financial targets

COPENHAGEN, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Danish hearing aid andheadset maker GN Store Nord upgraded its full-yearguidance as it reported a jump in third-quarter profits in linewith analysts' expectations.

Underlying earnings before interest, tax and amortisation(EBITA) rose more than 50 percent to 294 million Danish crowns($53 million) in the three months to Sept. 30, from 195 millioncrowns a year earlier.

The company now forecasts core earnings of 1.29 billioncrowns ($232.8 million) for 2013, up from the previous estimateof 1.24 billion crowns.

"It is a sign that consumers are very happy with our newesthearing aid and the wireless technology we have chosen," ChiefFinancial Officer Anders Boyer said.

Revenue rose 8 percent in the quarter to 1.61 billioncrowns, with two percentage points of the growth coming from astockpiling of hearing aids by Costco Wholesale Corp.

GN Store Nord is the world's fourth-biggest hearing aidmanufacturer behind Switzerland's Sonova, Denmark'sWilliam Demant and Germany's Siemens, butBoyer said he expects the company to move past its German rivalin the "foreseeable future".

The company also announced its new 2016 targets for thehearing aid and headset divisions, GN Resound and GNNetcom.

The group's stock is the most expensive in the Copenhagenstock exchange's benchmark index, trading at 46 times earnings.

The shares were up 0.1 percent by 0843 GMT against a 0.1percent fall for the Copenhagen stock market's benchmark index.($1 = 5.5422 Danish crowns).

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