UPDATE 1-Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment reports 22 pct rise in orders
* Q1 orders 114 mln eur vs Reuters poll avg 112 mln
* EBIT 22 mln eur vs Reuters poll avg 23 mln
* Company sees stable environment for months ahead (Adds CEO statement, details, background)
VIENNA, May 21 (Reuters) - Schoeller-Bleckmann Oilfield Equipment's orders rose by 22 percent in the first quarter thanks to strong drilling activity in North America, it said on Wednesday.
The company took in bookings of 114 million euros ($156 million) as demand bounced back for high-precision components, beating the average estimate of 112 million euros in a Reuters poll.
Schoeller-Bleckmann said it saw a continuation of a stable environment for the oilfield service industry for months ahead, supported by robust oil prices.
The "big four" U.S. oil services players - Halliburton , Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Weatherford - have all said they expect an improvement in North America this year.
"Bookings have gone up considerably and our improved product mix has increased the gross margin," Schoeller-Bleckmann Chief Executive Gerald Grohmann said in a statement.
With most of the company's sales are in North America, sales and earnings slipped in the quarter as the weak U.S. dollar weighed.
Sales fell 3 percent to 112 million euros, missing expectations. Operating profit was down more than expected to 22 million euros, a drop of 6 percent, while net profit rose 2 percent to 14 million euros, broadly in line with expectations. (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by David Goodman)
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