August 2, 2019 / 8:48 AM / 17 days ago

UPDATE 1-ZF Friedrichshafen cuts outlook on car sector downturn

* Now expects adj EBIT margin of 4-5 pct

* Sees sales at 36-37 billion euros

* Outlook cut due to weakening of global car market (Adds details on outlook, industry context)

FRANKFURT, Aug 2 (Reuters) - German car parts supplier ZF Friedrichshafen on Friday cut its outlook for 2019, becoming the latest victim of a downturn in the global automotive market.

The group, which in March agreed to buy U.S. rival Wabco for more than $7 billion, said falling car sales in virtually all markets, including the world's No.1 China, had made the step necessary.

ZF said it now expects sales of 36 billion euros to 37 billion euros ($40-$41 billion) and an adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margin of 4-5%. It had previously forecast sales of 37 billion to 38 billion euros and an EBIT margin of 5.0-5.5%.

"We cannot ... detach ourselves from the challenging economic situation which we are currently facing on a global level and are falling considerably short of our targets as the downturn of the automotive markets worsens," Chief Executive Wolf-Henning Schneider said in a statement.

ZF's profit warning follows similar statements by rival Continental and luxury carmaker Daimler, which last month cut its earnings expectations for the fourth time in 13 months. ($1 = 0.9011 euros) (Reporting by Christoph Steitz, editing by Riham Alkousaa and Kirsten Donovan)

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