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STMicro expects mid-term operating margin to grow to 17-19%

PARIS, May 14 (Reuters) - Franco-Italian chipmaker STMicroelectronics said it expected a surge in profit growth thanks to higher sales to automotive, industrial and smartphone clients.

The Geneva-based company, whose customers include iPhone maker Apple and electric car maker Tesla, sees full-year operating margin to be in the range of 17-19% in the mid-term, up from about 14.5% in 2018, it said in a statement.

"We have the determination to make ST stronger, with the ambition to outperform the markets we serve to become a sustainable and profitable $12 billion company in the mid-term," chief executive Jean-Marc Chery told investors in London.

The group expected second-half revenue to amount to $5.45 billion, significantly higher than the $4.2 billion of sales forecast in the first half. It also sees its full-year gross margin at around 39%. (Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Gwenaelle Barzic; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)