FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's Thyssenkrupp on Tuesday posted a 26 percent plunge in first-quarter operating profit, and the steel-to-elevators group added that the global macroeconomic environment, a key driver of demand for its products, was darkening.
The group's adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) came in at 333 million euros ($375 million), pulled down by a 77 percent slump in profit at its discontinued steel unit.
The conglomerate plans to merge the steel unit with the European operations of India's Tata Steel.
Thyssenkrupp, which announced in September it would spin off its elevator, car parts and plant engineering business, said it still expects adjusted EBIT from continuing operations to rise to more than 1 billion euros in 2018/19.
"However, at the same time economic and political uncertainties are growing," the company said.
Fears of a global economic slowdown have increased in recent months, with euro zone businesses expanding at their weakest rate since mid-2013 at the start of the year as demand fell for the first time in four years.
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Tassilo Hummel and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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