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UPDATE 1-Naval engineering group GTT expects 2021 profit dip

(Adds CEO comments, details, background)

Feb 18 (Reuters) - French naval engineering group Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT) said it expects core profit to drop this year as most of the orders it received in 2020 have an extended time horizon and will not have started generating significant additional revenue.

The Paris-based company, which designs tanks for maritime transportation and storage of liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, also attributed the outlook to last year’s acquisition of Areva H2Gen, now renamed Elogen, which has yet to deliver core earnings.

“Our orders are set for deliveries much more distant in time than in the past,” said chief executive Philippe Berterottière in a call.

GTT expects 2021 full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the range of 150 million euros ($181.1 million) to 170 million euros.

It reported 2020 EBITDA of 242.7 million euros, up 39.2% from the previous year and at the higher end of its guidance of 235 million to 255 million euros.

Despite fears of the pandemic causing delays to vessel construction and revenue collection, GTT - which competes with French peers CGG, Vallourec, TechnipFMC and Total - maintained strong results throughout the year and reported 51 new orders compared to 66 during 2019.

Analysts had expected 2020 to be a record year for the group, but Berenberg warned order intake had normalised since the start of last year, after 4 years of growth, which could lead to a weaker 2021. ($1 = 0.8282 euros)

Reporting by Kate Entringer and Milla Nissi in Gdansk; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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