(Adds outlook, details)
VIENNA, March 6 (Reuters) - Engineering group Andritz sees earnings returning to growth in 2019, helped by a strong order backlog and efficiency gains after restructuring its metals and hydropower operations, it said on Wednesday.
The Austrian company, which has been on an acquisition spree, has pledged to focus on cutting costs and integrating the newly bought companies in coming months.
“The companies we acquired in 2018 enable us to continue strengthening our competitive position, particularly in the service business,” said Chief Executive Wolfgang Leitner.
Andritz, which manufactures and supplies plants and systems to various industries, including hydropower stations, pulp and paper and metal manufacturers, proposed an unchanged dividend of 1.55 euros per share for 2018.
That tops the 1.53 euros per share expected by analysts, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.
Full-year earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) fell 11.2 percent to 394.3 million euros ($445.32 million), weighed down by restructuring provisions and higher costs for projects in the metals processing sector.
Adjusted for the provisions, full-year EBITA was at 415 million euros after 444 million in 2017. Analysts had expected full year EBITA of 402.7 million euros, as Refinitiv Eikon data showed.
$1 = 0.8854 euros Reporting by Kirsti Knolle, Editing by Tassilo Hummel and Louise Heavens