* Q1 comparable profit 16 mln euros vs 22 mln expected
* Q1 order intake 439 mln euros vs 450 mln expected
* Sees 2014 comparable profit flat or slightly up
* Shares fall 4.2 pct
(Adds analyst comment)
HELSINKI, April 24 Finnish crane maker
Konecranes on Thursday reported a
bigger-than-expected fall in first-quarter profit, while new
orders booked in the quarter also fell short of forecasts.
The group's January-March operating profit, excluding
one-off items, fell to 15.6 million euros ($22 million) from
23.1 million a year earlier, below the average analyst forecast
of 22 million in a Reuters poll.
New orders booked for the quarter were worth 439 million
euros, below market forecast of 450 million.
"The report was weak, there is no way around it," Pohjola
Bank analyst Pekka Spolander said.
Shares in the company fell 4.2 percent in early trade.
But Konecranes, whose cranes are used in factories,
shipyards and ports, said there were signs of positive
developments, especially from the advanced economies.
Chief Executive Pekka Lundmark said in a statement that cost
cuts helped the group remain profitable even as the weak economy
and the Ukraine crisis hurt business.
"I expect the lowered cost level to result in a good
leverage, should the slight positive signs on the market turn
into higher volumes," he said.
Konecranes said last month effects from the Ukraine crisis
would wipe out about 6 million euros from its full-year
For the full year, the company said that sales were expected
to be roughly flat and adjusted operating profit about the same
or slightly up from 2013.
Analysts said the guidance sounded more cautious than they
had expected. In February, the company did not estimate
full-year sales due to market uncertainty.
($1 = 0.7231 Euros)
(Reporting by Sakari Suoninen; Editing by Jussi Rosendahl and