Citing slumping sales to the retail industry, NCR Corp. this week reported a net loss of $15 million for the first quarter ended 31 March. The company reported net income of $48 million during the same period last year. Revenue in Europe, the Middle East and Africa declined 21.7%, to $386 million from $493 million, caused primarily by a reduction in product sales to financial services, retail and hospitality-industry customers, Bill Nuti, NCR chairman and CEO, said during a conference call Thursday. Lower sales volumes to retail and hospitality-industry customers helped drive down revenue in the Americas by 5.7%, to $459 million from $487 million, he said. Overall revenue fell 14.4%, to $1.01 billion from $1.18 billion. The company said it expects revenue to be down 10% to 15% for all of 2009. NCR, an ATM maker, also supplies point-of-sale and self-check out equipment to retailers, but company executives said during the call that many merchants have postponed accepting orders because of the economy. Sales to retailers account for roughly 40% of NCR's annual sales. "From a global end-market standpoint, many customers and companies in these markets we serve have pulled back on capital programs in the first part of this year, opting to preserve cash in an uncertain environment. This was most apparent in retail," Nuti said. NCR is based in Dayton, Ohio.

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