* Reports lower Q3 sales, profit vs Q2
* U.S., Europe continue to be challenging
* Russian demand supported by oil firms' drilling projects
MOSCOW, Nov 27 Russia's largest maker of steel
pipes for the oil and gas industry TMK expects results
to improve in the fourth quarter, with strong domestic demand
offsetting weak overseas markets.
The company said on Tuesday that third-quarter net profit
fell to $69 million from $76 million in the previous three
months, broadly in line with forecasts.
"Despite certain challenges on the U.S. and European
markets, strength in Russian demand for oil and gas pipe should
allow the company to demonstrate stronger results in the fourth
quarter compared to the third quarter of 2012," TMK said
The third-quarter profit decline reflected lower sales
volumes of seamless pipes caused by major repairs at several
Russian plants, a reduction in U.S. welded pipe sales, lower
prices and the impact of currency translation.
Group revenue fell 9 percent from the previous quarter to
For the Russian division, revenue fell by 9 percent from the
previous quarter to $1.13 billion, while American division
revenue declined by 8 percent to $410 million.
"The U.S. market environment in the fourth quarter of 2012
is expected to remain challenging due to a lower rig count, a
high level of imports and customers' focus on inventory
management," the company said.
In crisis-hit Europe, where TMK's quarterly sales fell 22
percent to $75 million, customers continued to keep inventories
at a minimum level and are seeking lower prices.
TMK said it still expects full-year 2012 earnings before
interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to be
slightly higher than last year.
Its third-quarter EBITDA fell 16 percent quarter on quarter
to $243 million, in line with expectations.