Vallourec Q2 profit falls, keeps margin goal

PARIS, July 26 Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:46am EDT

PARIS, July 26 (Reuters) - French steel tube maker Vallourec posted a 25 percent drop in second-quarter core profit on Thursday but kept its full-year margin target despite a difficult environment outside the oil and gas industry.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell to 191 million euros ($231.56 million), Vallourec said. Sales rose 3 percent to 1.33 billion euros.

"For the rest of the year, we expect the robust performance in oil and gas markets to continue to have a favourable impact on our mix," Chief Executive Philippe Crouzet said. "Other markets will continue to be affected by the weak economic environment.

"Despite this, and with the contribution of our adaptation and cost saving measures, we maintain our objective of an EBITDA margin close to 15 percent for the full year 2012."

Crouzet told Reuters on May 30 that the company expected to get back on track in 2013 once its two new manufacturing plants in Brazil and the United States are fully operational.

Earlier in May, the group halved its sales outlook for 2012 as demand from markets outside the oil and gas sector shrank and pushed back the full ramp-up of the new sites until 2013.

The company, a barometer for investment in heavy industry, manufactures seamless tubes for the oil, gas, petrochemical, automotive and electricity sectors, and demand for its products is heavily influenced by market conditions driving those industries. ($1 = 0.8248 euros) (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Christian Plumb)

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