MILAN, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Italian oil services group Saipem missed on Tuesday its 2013 profit targets hit by delays in the awarding of new contracts and in the execution of existing ones in the final months of last year.
Saipem, 43 percent owned by oil and gas group Eni and struggling to put behind a year marred by profit warnings and a probe into alleged corruption in Algeria, said it was targeting operating profit of between 600 and 750 million euros in 2014, at the lower end of market expectations.
Shares turned negative after Saipem posted a full-year net loss or 404 million euros ($551.36 million) and an operating (EBIT) loss of 98 million euros. The company had guided the market towards a flat EBIT and a full-year net loss of 300 and 350 million euros.
Shares in Saipem, which were up around 2 percent before results, were 3.5 percent lower at 16.01 euros at 1502 GMT.
Europe's biggest oil service group by revenue lost around 20 percent of its value over the last 12 months after it twice slashed its guidance to reflect lower-margin contracts and the fallout from the Algerian probe.
Poor order intake and project delays, which had accelerated in the second half of 2013, have put question marks over the group's plans to move towards more lucrative contracts.
Saipem, said new orders since the end of the year amounted to approximately 800 million euros. In the last quarter of 2013 Saipem had been awarded contracts worth 2.1 billion euros, about a half what it had secured in the same period in 2012.
Oil majors are cutting investments in the face of flat oil prices and rising costs as investors press for greater returns.
($1 = 0.7327 euros)
(Reporting by Lisa Jucca and Giancarlo Navach, editing by Louise Heavens)
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