May 3, 2018 / 6:51 AM / 3 months ago

Engineering group Andritz expects order book to counter sales drop

VIENNA, May 3 (Reuters) - Austrian engineering group Andritz expects a strong order book to enable the company to meet full-year objectives, it said on Thursday after reporting a drop first-quarter sales and profit.

Andritz, which makes products for industries ranging from from textiles and hydropower to steel and recycling, posted quarterly earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) down 26 percent year on year to 64.4 million euros ($77.2 million). Net profit fell 30 percent to 44 million euros.

The company said a 6.9 percent sales decline was largely attributable to its pulp and paper arm and metals division, which makes production lines for the steel industry.

“In spite of the decline in sales and earnings during the reporting period, Andritz expects satisfactory business development for the 2018 business year,” it said.

“In the coming months, the rising order intake since the second quarter of 2017 is expected to make up for the lower sales in the present reporting period and the related lower earnings.”

Though its order backlog was 6 percent lower at the end of the quarter than a year earlier, it was higher than in the previous quarter, Andritz said.

Order intake fell by 1.7 percent to 1.53 billion euros in the quarter but was still at “a very favourable level”, the company said.

“The prospects for the Andritz business areas are largely unchanged compared to expectations as of the end of 2017,” it added. ($1 = 0.8345 euros) (Reporting by Francois Murphy Editing by David Goodman)

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