Weir Group's shares slumped over five per cent in morning trading after announcing that orders were down seven per cent in the third quarter.
The Scottish engineering firm, whose operations date back to 1871, said that its third quarter input order slump on the previous year was due to lower activity across its oil and gas divisions and lower equipment orders in the minerals sector.
Chief exec Jon Stanton warned that full year profits "are expected to be slightly lower than current market expectations."
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A particular area of concern for Weir were its performance in oil markets in the Middle East. However, Stanton was positive that the financial performance was more generally on an upward trajectory. He said:
There are signs in the group's third quarter performance that our core markets have started to improve. Minerals aftermarket orders returned to growth and North American oil and gas customers started planning for higher activity levels next year.
The group's trading results reflected the low point in the North American oil and gas market and tougher conditions in the Middle East.
And looking forward to the final quarter of the year things were looking up.
"Assuming commodity prices remain supportive, we anticipate further sequential growth for the oil and gas division in the fourth quarter but little improvement in the pricing environment. Given conditions in the Middle East as well, we now expect the division to be around breakeven in the fourth quarter and slightly loss-making for the full year," he said.