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Gardening tools firm Husqvarna sees battery-powered sales boost

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FILE PHOTO: A Husqvarna robotic lawn mower is placed in its docking station in the Humlegarden park in Stockholm
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STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -Husqvarna, the world's biggest maker of power gardening tools, has raised its overall financial targets and growth ambitions for robotic lawn mowers and other battery-powered products.

The Swedish group, whose products range from trimmers and chainsaws to garden tractors and irrigation systems, and which has benefited from the stay-at-home trend caused by the pandemic, said late Tuesday it now targets annual organic sales growth of 5% and an operating margin of 13%.

The market leader for robotic lawn mowers did not provide a timeframe for the new targets. In the first nine months of 2021, organic sales were up 15% and the operating margin was 15.1%.

The previous financial targets, announced in 2019, were for sales growth exceeding the average growth in the industry by 2 percentage points with an operating margin above 10%.

"I am proud that we can increase our growth and margin ambitions even after taking account of the recent temporary positive effects from the stay-at home trend," CEO Henric Andersson said ahead of presentations for investors and media on Wednesday.

"Global macro trends including sustainability, electrification, automation and digitalization provide tremendous opportunities for the Husqvarna Group," he said in a statement.

Husqvarna, whose rivals include Black & Decker and Honda Motor, gets the bulk of revenues from petrol driven products, but has been pushing to grow its share of battery driven products.

The company said it aims to double the sales of robotic lawn mowers, double the number of connected devices, and increase the share of electrified products sold to 67% from 38% within five years.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom, Editing by Helena Soderpalm Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Keith Weir)

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