November 23, 2016 / 10:42 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Slower emerging markets hit Rocket's Global Fashion revenue

* Q3 revenue growth 16 pct vs 37 pct in H1

* CFO sees no imminent macro improvement

* Shares down 4.3 pct (Adds comments from conference call)

FRANKFURT, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Revenue growth at emerging markets-focused retailer Global Fashion Group (GFG), which is backed by investors Kinnevik of Sweden and Germany’s Rocket Internet, slowed in the third quarter although its losses narrowed.

GFG said on Wednesday net revenue in constant currency terms rose by 16 percent to 250 million euros ($266 million) in the quarter, less than half the 36.6 percent rise it achieved during the first half of the year.

GFG is seen as one of Rocket’s most likely candidates for an eventual stock market flotation, along with food delivery companies Delivery Hero and HelloFresh. However, Rocket has been under pressure since GFG’s valuation was slashed by two thirds to 1 billion euros in a funding round in April.

Rocket’s shares fell 4.3 percent by 1022 GMT, making it the biggest loser on the German small-cap index .

GFG’s revenue was hit by macroeconomic challenges in Latin America, Middle East and Russia, with finance chief Nils Chrestin predicting no imminent improvement.

“We continue to face quite significant headwinds from the macro and retail environment that we expect to continue for the foreseeable future,” Chrestin told an analyst call, adding he hoped for some improvement during 2017 and 2018.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation (EBITDA) narrowed to a loss of 32.3 million in the latest quarter from a loss of 54.0 million euros a year ago. Core earnings margin improved to negative 12.9 percent from negative 14.8 percent in the first half of 2016.

GFG’s Middle East unit Namshi made its first profit in the quarter with a 2.9 percent adjusted EBITDA margin.

The results excluded businesses GFG divested including its struggling Jabong unit in India and operations in Thailand and Vietnam. This boosted its cash balance to 284 million euros in the third quarter from 64.3 million euros a year earlier.

Net merchandise value rose to 255.2 million euros in the third quarter from 192.1 million euros in the year-ago quarter.

Kinnevik held a 35 percent stake in GFG at the end of September, while Rocket held 20.4 percent as of Sept. 15. ($1 = 0.9408 euros) (Reporting by Eric Auchard and Emma Thomasson; Editing by Alexander Smith and Alexandra Hudson)

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