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SGL shares slump as CEO quits, earnings decline

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Shares in Germany’s SGL Group <SGCG.DE> were down 14.5% in early trade after the maker of carbon fibres for auto parts said its chief executive would quit and its earnings prospects for the year had worsened.

The company, in which BMW <BMWG.DE> investor Susanne Klatten owns 28%, said late on Wednesday it expected adjusted operating profit of about 10 million euros (9 million pounds), down from previous guidance of about 65 million.

Business in July at its Composites – Fibres & Materials (CFM) unit fell significantly below its expectations, SGL said, adding that it discovered “erroneous planning assumptions” in a large order for carbon fibres that go into rotor blades for wind energy.

CEO Juergen Koehler would step down at the end of the month with Klatten, head of the non-executive supervisory board, showing “complete respect and understanding for this decision”, SGL said, without naming a successor.

Carmakers BMW and Volkswagen <VOWG_p.DE> hold smaller stakes in SGL. They tussled for control of the company in 2011 in anticipation that carbon fibre-reinforced parts would be used more widely in electric vehicles but the business never lived up to expectations.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; editing by John Stonestreet)

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