UPDATE 1-SKF sees antitrust fine, takes $456 mln charge

Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:16am EST

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STOCKHOLM, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Swedish bearings maker SKF said on Friday it would take a 3 billion crown ($456 million) charge for an expected antitrust fine next year, while an unfavourable sales mix would dent profits in the fourth quarter.

The possible fine from the European Commission follows an international competition infringement investigation of automotive suppliers. The Commission visited SKF offices two years ago and the U.S. Department of Justice is also investigating.

SKF shares were down 5.5 percent at 168.5 crowns by 0915 GMT, having fallen as low as 168.4 crowns, their lowest since July.

"If there is any good news, it is that we now have a number, as opposed to not knowing," said Lars Brorson, an analyst with DNB who had expected a fine of 2 billion crowns.

SKF, which had sales of 65 billion crowns in 2012, also said sales for the fourth quarter were broadly in line with its previous outlook, but that the mix had been unfavourable.

"This in combination with a slightly lower manufacturing (output) than planned is expected to have a somewhat negative impact on the quarterly result compared to the previous quarter," the company said in a statement.

SKF also said recently acquired Kaydon would make an operating loss of 150 million crowns in the fourth quarter and that the group would take additional one-time costs of 100 million crowns in the three months.

Link to full statement: r.reuters.com/kez55v

($1 = 6.5859 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Sven Nordenstam and Johan Ahlander; Editing by David Holmes)

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