(Corrects margin figure in third paragraph)
PARIS Dec 17 (Reuters) - French oil services group Technip said on Tuesday it expected operating margins at its subsea unit to fall to a minimum of 12 percent next year from around 14 percent in 2013, before picking up in 2015.
"Before a substantial improvement from the second quarter onwards, subsea operating margins will be exceptionally low in the first quarter 2014 at around 5 percent," the group said in a statement, citing delays in vessel maintenance and the start-up of its Acu plant in Brazil.
"This enables us to set as a floor an operating margin of at least 12 percent for the year as a whole."
The group, which supplies pipes, platforms and equipment to energy producers, said it expected 2014 subsea revenue between 4.35 billion euros and 4.75 billion euros, while sales in its onshore/offshore unit were expected at up to 5.7 billion euros.
Analysts on average expected full-year 2014 sales of 10.5 billion euros and an EBIT margin of 9.9 percent, according to a Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S estimate. (Reporting by Michel Rose; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)