UPDATE 1-Sandvik profit, orders lag in face of weak demand

Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:30am EST

* Q4 core profit 3.06 bln SEK vs fcast 3.24 bln

* Order intake down 10 pct, below forecast

* Says cut output further in Q4

* Says market demand in Q4 was on par with Q3 (Adds detail, background)

STOCKHOLM, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Swedish machinery and tool maker Sandvik posted fourth-quarter earnings below analysts' expectations on Tuesday and said it had cut production further in the face of sluggish demand.

Sandvik and domestic rival Atlas Copco, which together supply more than half the global market for underground mining gear such as drill rigs and crushers, have seen demand falter in recent months due to global economic uncertainty.

Sandvik said adjusted operating earnings fell to 3.06 billion crowns ($477.2 million) from 3.24 billion a year-ago, lagging a mean forecast for 3.30 billion in a Reuters poll of analysts.

U.S. group Caterpillar this week fuelled optimism about the underlying economy but forecast its mining gear business, where it competes with Sandvik and Atlas, would be a drag on group sales in 2013 as miners cut spending.

Sandvik, which does not issue financial guidance, said group order intake fell 10 percent stripped of currency swings and acquisitions to 21.1 billion crowns in the quarter, falling short of the 21.8 billion seen by analysts.

"Overall demand for Sandvik's products during the fourth quarter remained largely on par with the third quarter," the company said in a statement.

"Activity in the aerospace, oil/gas and process industries remained at reasonably high levels, while the mining, construction and automotive industries were weak."

In its mining business alone, the group's biggest unit by sales, order intake fell 5 percent and bookings were down in all the company's business areas.

($1 = 6.4124 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Niklas Pollard and Johannes Hellstrom; Editing by Mark Potter)

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