August 12, 2019 / 12:43 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Ansell flags stronger 2020, shares jump

(Adds details on outlook, background)

Aug 12 (Reuters) - Rubber glove maker Ansell Ltd flagged a stronger 2020 on Monday as it posted a 19.6% fall in profit for the year to June 30 due to weak sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Ansell said fiscal earnings per share for 2020 would be in range of $1.12 to $1.22, compared with about $1.12 in 2019, as its programme to cut costs and focus on core businesses bears fruit.

The Australian medical and industrial glove maker’s shares rose 6.6% in morning trade, while the benchmark index was broadly lower.

Profit from continuing operations for the year ended June 30 declined to $113.1 million, compared with $140.6 million a year earlier.

Ansell’s performance in 2018-2019 was weighed by a 3% drop in sales revenue from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, its second-biggest market.

Data earlier this month showed that factory activity in Europe fell at its steepest rate since late 2012 in July.

Overall sales of the group dropped 3% to $1.5 billion from $1.55 billion reported a year earlier.

Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates

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