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Dec 15 (Reuters) - Swedish industrial group Trelleborg raised its operating margin target on Thursday, sending its shares higher, and as widely expected revised its sales goal after years of falling like-for-like turnover.
* Says targets EBIT margin excluding items affecting comparability of at least 15 percent vs previous target of at least 12 percent
* Sets total sales growth target, including organic growth in excess of underlying market growth, of 5-8 percent over an economic cycle
* Previous target was that average annual organic growth over an economic cycle should be at least 5 percent. In addition, further growth would occur through bolt-on acquisitions
* The firm, a maker of industrial rubber products such as seals and anti-vibration components, is set to exceed its old operating margin target for a fourth straight year
* Trelleborg shares rise 2.3 percent at 1024 GMT compared with a 0.2 percent decline ahead of the news
* Trelleborg had an EBIT margin of 13.5 percent in the Jan-Sept period
* For continuing operations including items affecting comparability (over an economic cycle), Trelleborg targets return on equity (ROE) of at least 12 percent
* Trelleborg's rivals include Continental and Parker Hannifin, SKF and Bridgestone.
* Says "we are expecting that market will recover, giving Trelleborg a favorable and attractive market position when this happens"
* Says "we are investing heavily in further development of our digital offering" Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard)