BOCHUM, Germany (Reuters) - Thyssenkrupp said on Friday its first-quarter earnings would fall but be in line with its outlook, giving its ailing shares a much-needed jolt ahead of an ambitious plan to spin off its capital goods businesses.
"Traditionally, the first quarter is the weakest for Thyssenkrupp. But we are fully in line with our guidance, which means down from the prior-year quarter," Guido Kerkhoff told shareholders at the group's annual general meeting.
The steel-to-elevators group, which is scheduled to present first-quarter results on Feb. 12, confirmed its outlook for 2018/19, saying it was still expecting adjusted operating profit from continuing operations of more than 1 billion euros (917.64 million pounds).
Thyssenkrupp, whose shares have suffered a 30 percent decline since it announced the spin-off in September, rose to the top of Germany's blue-chip DAX index, gaining 5 percent at 0922 GMT.
"People are relieved that the results are in line with expectations and the situation hasn't gotten worse," an equity trader said.
DWS, Thyssenkrupp's eleventh-biggest shareholder, had a day earlier called on the group's management to raise profit margins and said it had reduced its actively managed position in the company following two profit warnings last year.
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz, Tom Kaeckenhoff and Hakan Ersen; editing by Thomas Seythal and Michelle Martin)