Bearings maker SKF Q4 core profit beats forecast

STOCKHOLM, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Sweden’s SKF, the world’s largest maker of ball-bearings, reported adjusted quarterly operating earnings ahead of market forecasts on Tuesday and said it expected year-on-year demand to be lower in the first quarter.

Fourth-quarter earnings at the Gothenburg-based group were 1.91 billion Swedish crowns ($198 million), down from 2.90 billion a year earlier, and below the 1.97 billion seen in a Refinitiv analyst poll.

However, adjusted for non-recurring items, operating earnings were 2.18 billion, roughly flat compared to the year-ago quarter, the group said.

SKF, a rival of Germany’s Schaeffler, said it expected demand for the group to be lower in the first quarter compared to the same quarter in 2019, with Europe seen lower, North America seen significantly lower and Asia seen slightly higher. ($1 = 9.6265 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard)