Wires

UPDATE 1-LafargeHolcim slightly more cautious on Europe as Q3 sales dip

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ZURICH, Oct 25 (Reuters) - LafargeHolcim said it was slightly less optimistic about its prospects in Europe and Africa as the world's largest cement maker on Friday reported third-quarter sales and earnings broadly in line with analyst estimates.

The Swiss company said sales fell 3% to 7.14 billion Swiss francs ($7.19 billion), missing analyst forecasts for 7.21 billion, according to Refinitiv data. When the effect of the company's exit from markets in southeast Asia and other divestments were taken into account, its sales rose by 4.9%.

Recurring operating profit before depreciation and amortisation rose 0.8% to 1.88 billion francs, ahead of forecasts for 1.81 billion francs.

Chief Executive Jan Jenisch said LafargeHolcim was on track to achieve all its 2019 targets as it confirmed its outlook for like-for-like sales growth of 3-5% and recurring EBITDA growth of at least 5%.

During the third quarter LafargeHolcim said its sales in Europe had increased by 5%, adding the United Kingdom was resilient despite signs of weaker demand due to ongoing Brexit uncertainty.

But LafargeHolcim tweaked downwards its view for Europe in the fourth quarter, saying it now expected demand growth only across most markets.

It also downgraded its view on the Middle East and Africa region, saying it now saw "challenging market conditions" towards the end of 2019.

($1 = 0.9926 Swiss francs) (Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields)