(Adds job cuts, share price)
HELSINKI Oct 25 Finnish industrial machine
maker Metso reported a bigger-than-expected drop in
orders in the third quarter as a weak economy discouraged
customers from investing in large projects.
Orders for the quarter fell 21 percent to 1.51 billion euros
($2 billion), although underlying profit before interest, tax
and amortisation rose in line with market forecasts to 171
Analysts on average had expected orders worth 1.63 billion
Chief Executive Matti Kahkonen said the company did not
receive any orders for large projects.
Metso makes paper machines as well as crushers and grinding
machines for mining and construction companies. Last month, it
said it was cutting up to 630 jobs in its paper and pulp
business in Finland as a weakening economy dented demand for
Metso shares fell 2.7 percent to 26.89 euros, extending
their fall of over 6 percent in the past month.
While Metso is valued at below 10 times forward earnings
compared with some peers' multiples above 15, investors have
been wary of the stock, partly due to the company's recent
cancellation of an extra dividend.
Metso proposed an extra dividend in September, but its
announcement of job cuts a few days later prompted an uproar,
forcing it to scrap plans for the extra payment.
($1 = 0.7711 euro)
(Reporting by Helsinki Newsroom; Editing by Jane Baird)