May 6, 2010 / 3:55 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 1-SNC-Lavalin earnings fall, sees stronger sales

* Q1 EPS C$0.47 vs C$0.51 last year, analyst est C$0.55

* Revenue falls to C$1.4 bln from C$1.6 bln

* Sees second half revenue above same period in 2009

* Shares down 2 pct in Toronto

OTTAWA, May 6 (Reuters) - SNC-Lavalin Group Inc (SNC.TO), Canada’s biggest engineering company, reported a 7 percent drop in first-quarter profit on Thursday, reflecting broad declines in its operations, but said revenue in the second half of 2010 will exceed sales in the same period of 2009.

SNC said profit fell to C$71.9 million ($69 million), or 47 Canadian cents a share in the three months to the end of March. That compared with a profit of C$77.5 million, or 51 Canadian cents a share, in the same period last year.

Revenue decreased 12.5 percent to C$1.4 billion.

Analysts had expected, on average, earnings of 55 Canadian cents a share on revenue of C$1.64 billion according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The Montreal-based company said it closed the quarter with a backlog of C$11.4 billion worth of work on hand, up from C$9 billion at the same time last year. It reaffirmed that it expects net income at year-end to match or exceed 2009 profit.

Shares of SNC-Lavalin fell 2 percent, or C$1.02, to C$48.78 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday.

The company has recently won two large public-private partnership contracts in Canada: a C$770 million extension to the Calgary ring road and a C$1.3 billion expansion of a health center at McGill University in Montreal.

$1=$1.04 Canadian Reporting by Susan Taylor; editing by Rob Wilson

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