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Medical firm Arseus says on track for healthy growth

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Belgian medical equipment supplies and IT company Arseus reported a rise in overall sales in the last three months on Friday, in line with the "healthy organic growth" which it has forecast for the year.

However, a stronger than expected performance by the IT business offset a decline in revenue at its supplies unit, with total net sales up 4.5 percent at 121.9 million euros ($157.8 million), in line with the 122 million expected in a Reuters poll of three analysts.

Arseus also said it expected profitability to increase at a faster rate than revenues this year.

The group's Corilus IT business which serves doctors and pharmacies, posted a 10.7 percent rise in revenues in the third quarter, above analysts expectations.

Arseus said the unit introduced new products and maintained its market leadership in Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

Arseus Medical, which makes equipment for care homes and hospitals, saw its revenues decline by 2.2 percent in the quarter, after it stopped selling incontinence products.

Analysts had expected sales at the unit to increase slightly.

The group's Fagron unit which makes medical compounds for pharmacies posted a 7 percent increase in sales, a touch below analysts' estimates.

The unit has, however, been the company's fastest-growing business, with sales increasing 21.5 percent in the first nine months of the year. ($1=0.7726 euros)

(Reporting By Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Greg Mahlich)