Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Bang & Olufsen A/S, the Danish electronics maker mired in takeover talks that remain “uncertain,” said sales have picked up and raised its revenue forecast.

"The dialogue may or may not lead to an offer," the company said Wednesday in a statement. "At present, uncertainty remains as to the outcome."

A recovering business may strengthen B&O’s hand in the takeover talks with a Chinese suitor. B&O said full-year sales will increase as much 15 percent, compared with the earlier estimate of 12 percent, because of rising revenue from the B&O Play business selling stand-alone home speakers and headphones.

Billionaire Qi Jianhong, the largest shareholder of Chinese luxury-goods distributor Sparkle Roll Group Ltd., came out on March 22 with an expression of interest in B&O, while stopping short of announcing an actual offer for the 91-year-old company. B&O, a maker of luxury televisions and speakers, has sought a buyer for years to help it revive its fortunes.

Shares of B&O declined 2.1 percent to 69 kroner at 9:06 a.m. in Copenhagen. They have declined 16 percent this year, giving he electronics maker a market value of about 3 billion kroner.

Revenue rose 8 percent to 703 million kroner ($107 million) last quarter. Fiscal third-quarter earnings before interest and taxes were 5 million kroner, after a loss of 70 million kroner a year earlier, evidence the company’s business is rebounding, Chief Executive Officer Tue Mantoni said in the statement.

Among the many risks for investors is the failure of B&O, known for its elegant designs and correspondingly high price points, to entice strategic buyers like Samsung Electronics Co. or TCL Corp., or even LG Electronics Inc., the South Korean company that agreed March 18 to make B&O branded TVs as part of Danish company’s cost-reduction plan. Patrik Setterberg, an analyst at Nordea Bank AB, said it would be been optimal to have other bidders competing as the chances of a firm offer materializing isn’t 100 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Ewing in Stockholm at aewing5@bloomberg.net. To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net, Ville Heiskanen

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