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Epiroc profit just misses forecast, sees stable demand

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STOCKHOLM, July 20 (Reuters) - Swedish mining gear maker Epiroc forecast stable demand on Tuesday after reporting quarterly operating earnings just below market expectations. Mining industry sentiment has improved over the past several quarters helped by firming prices of many metals despite the coronavirus pandemic, which still affects many countries' economies. Epiroc said it expected demand, both for equipment and services, to remain at a stable high level in the near term.

"We continue to experience supply-chain challenges, but the impact on revenues was limited in the quarter," Epiroc Chief Executive Helena Hedblom said in a statement. Order intake at Epiroc in the quarter was 11.1 billion crowns, up 45% organically versus the year-earlier quarter, which was hit far harder by the pandemic.

Operating earnings rose to 2.18 billion crowns ($250.8 million) from 1.42 billion a year earlier, lagging the 2.25 billion average analyst forecast according to Refinitiv data. Epiroc shares, up 1.2% ahead of the report, fell back to trade 1.0% lower by 0947 GMT.

The shares were up 36% in the year through Monday. Sandvik , Epiroc's top rival, reported earnings last week with its mining unit posting a 31% like-for-like rise in quarterly order intake. ($1 = 8.6907 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; editing by Niklas Pollard)

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