(Adds half-year figures, details, outlook, acquisition)
July 23 (Reuters) - French household equipment maker Groupe SEB reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue on Thursday, as the easing of coronavirus lockdowns fuelled demand, chiefly in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region and in China.
The company, which owns household brands including Moulinex and Tefal, said quarterly revenue fell 9.5% to 1.46 billion euros ($1.69 billion) from a year-ago period, slightly less than the revenue loss of 200 million euros the company had forecast for the quarter.
Operating result from activity came in at 86 million euros, in-line with SEB’s guidance of a positive operating result.
All of the group’s 42 production sites have returned to normal output levels after temporary shutdowns due to the pandemic, the company said in a statement.
Half-year sales fell 12.7% to 2.914 billion euros as the widespread closure of the hotels and restaurants sunk demand in the group’s professional business.
Groupe SEB maintained its forecast for a significant drop in revenue and core profit in 2020 given uncertainties caused by the still severe health crisis in the Americas and the resurgence of the epidemic in some countries, the company said.
The company on Wednesday said it had agreed to buy a majority stake in New York-based StoreBound, owner of the kitchenware brand Dash, as it seeks to strengthen its presence in the U.S. market. ($1 = 0.8634 euros) (Reporting by Linda Pasquini in Gdansk; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Tomasz Janowski)