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May 9 (Reuters) - SBM Offshore, the Dutch offshore oil production and loading vessels leasing company, reported a 4 percent slip in first-quarter revenue on Friday to $782 million, which it said was in line with expectations, while the order backlog was off 2 percent at $21.66 billion.
“We have delivered a steady performance in the first quarter, with revenues in line with expectations. Tendering activity has accelerated, but we remain conservative in our view of the speed of project awards,” Chief Executive Bruno Chabas said in a statement.
The company maintained its revenue forecast for the whole of 2014 at $3.3 billion.
Meanwhile the company said it was awaiting the outcome of external investigations into claims that the company had paid bribes to win contracts.
Last month Brazil’s supreme court approved a congressional inquiry into a claim that officials at state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras), took bribes from SBM.
SBM Offshore said in April an internal investigation found “some evidence” sales agents in Angola and Equatorial Guinea made $200 million in improper payments to government officials in those countries but it found no concrete evidence of bribes paid in Brazil.
“The publication of the findings of our internal investigation into potentially improper sales practices was a significant step forward, and we now look to the public authorities to complete their work,” Chabas said on Friday.
“SBM has striven to address compliance and ethical conduct, and I am proud of the way everyone at SBM has embraced this programme. We recognise that our clients value our approach, and we look to the future with confidence,” he said.
It gave no additional details on Friday about the Brazilian charges, but said it “remains in active dialogue with the relevant authorities.”
SBM Offshore last year began using a different “directional” financial reporting system which it said was intended to give investors a clearer picture of operating cash flow. Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage: (Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Greg Mahlich)