2 Min Read
* 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 (Reuters) - 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 operating profit.
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 Jane Merriman)