French electrical equipment group Schneider Electric SE raised its 2020 outlook on Thursday, citing a better-than-expected third quarter due to pent-up demand and restocking of inventories by distributors.
Schneider, whose products range from electrical car chargers to industrial robotics, now expects revenue to fall 5%-7%, compared with a slide of 7%-10% it forecast in July, bringing it above a company-provided analysts' consensus for the year.
The company also upgraded its full-year core profit margin target to 15.1%-15.4% from 14.5%-15.0% previously, and confirmed its aim to increase this to around 17% by 2022.
Schneider's quarterly revenue has risen for the first time this year, compared with 2019, helped by its energy management division — which serves buildings, data centers and infrastructure, and posted growth across all its regions.
Its third-quarter revenue stood at 6.46 billion euros ($7.65 billion), up 1.3% year-on-year and beating a company-provided consensus of 6.03 billion.
"The crisis has reinforced our customer's agenda for sustainability and digitization, both areas where Schneider has focused its strategy," Chief Executive Officer Jean-Pascal Tricoire said.
However, Tricoire also expects uncertainty for the quarter ahead amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in several regions.