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UPDATE 1-Siemens Healthineers raises 2021 outlook on COVID-19 pandemic

* Now expects 2021 sales to grow 8%-12%

* Basic EPS now seen at 1.63-1.82 eur/shr

* Outlook up on stronger demand due to COVID-19 pandemic (Adds details of estimates)

FRANKFURT, Jan 26 (Reuters) - German health technology company Siemens Healthineers on Tuesday raised its outlook for 2021 sales and earnings per share, citing stronger demand for its antigen tests in the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“The outlook was raised based on the ongoing pandemic related demands and a higher confidence in the normalization of the underlying business,” said the company, in which Siemens AG holds a 79% stake.

The group said it now expected sales growth of 8%-12% in the year to September, compared with a previous target of 5%-8%. Adjusted basic earnings per share are seen at 1.63-1.82 euros, up from 1.58-1.72 euros previously.

“Given the dynamic of the pandemic, we assume that the pandemic-related demand from Q1 will not persist to the same extent through the remaining (year) and beyond,” said the group, which will report full first-quarter results on Feb. 1.

Sales in the October-December period, Siemens Healthineers’ fiscal first quarter, were up 13.3% at 3.87 billion euros ($4.71 billion), while adjusted earnings before interest and tax rose 52% to 738 million euros.

Siemens Healthineers said it now expected rapid antigen test revenues of 300-350 million euros in 2021, up from 100 million previously forecast.

$1 = 0.8221 euros Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Chris Reese and Richard Chang

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