UPDATE 1-Metso sees demand bottoming out after Q1 profit fall

Thu Apr 24, 2014 5:47am EDT

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HELSINKI, April 24 (Reuters) - Finnish engineer Metso said demand for its crushers and grinders seemed to be bottoming out, as it reported an expected fall in quarterly orders and profit.

The company, which spun off its paper machine business Valmet at the start of the year, has been suffering recently as mining companies have cut back on new projects and investments amid economic uncertainty.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) in the first quarter fell to 88 million euros ($122 million) from 103 million euros a year earlier, just below analysts' forecast of 92 million euros in Reuters poll.

Metso's order intake totalled 875 million euros, down 15 percent from a year ago and also a little short of expectations.

But the company repeated its outlook, forecasting somewhat lower full-year sales than in 2013 with a core EBITA margin at around 12 percent.

"Although investments in mining equipment and projects continue to be low, demand seems to be bottoming out, which is a positive development," said chief executive Matti Kahkonen.

Metso, 11-percent owned by the state of Finland, recently rejected a merger proposal by rival Weir Group, saying it was confident in its standalone prospects.

At 0945 GMT, Metso shares were down 1.1 percent at 29.68 euros.

($1 = 0.7231 Euros) (Reporting by Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Mark Potter)

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