February 5, 2019 / 12:47 PM / 7 months ago

Epiroc fourth quarter orders just below forecast, shares drop

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish mining equipment maker Epiroc reported quarterly order intake and underlying profitability slightly below analyst forecasts on Tuesday and said it expected near-term demand to remain at the current level.

Shares of Epiroc, which makes equipment such as drill rigs, loaders and haulers, were down 2.6 percent at 1236 GMT following the results.

The company, spun out of industrial group Atlas Copco last year, said order intake rose to 9.47 billion Swedish crowns (797.85 million pounds) from 8.06 billion in the year-ago quarter, just below the 9.56 billion seen in a Reuters poll.

It reported an adjusted operating margin of 20.4 percent, slightly below the 20.6 percent seen by analysts.

“While we expect demand to continue to remain at the current level in the near-term, there are uncertainties related to the development of the economic cycle and global trade tensions,” Epiroc Chief Executive Per Lindberg said in a statement.

Epiroc’s Swedish rival Sandvik reported quarterly results just ahead of market forecasts in late January buoyed by strong demand and profitability in its mining unit.

Epiroc’s fourth-quarter operating earnings rose to 2.16 billion crowns from 1.53 billion in the same quarter a year earlier and above the 2.05 billion mean forecast.

Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard

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