* Q2 sales ease 0.4 pct to 1.44 bln eur vs poll avg 1.41 bln
* Order intake steady at 1.24 bln vs poll avg 1.27 bln
* Keeps forecast for sharply higher net profit, firmer sales (Adds details and background)
VIENNA, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Austrian engineering group Andritz AG beat market expectations for second-quarter results and said it still saw significantly higher 2014 net profit and slightly higher sales.
Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) rose 2.5 percent to 84.8 million euros ($113.5 million) on flat sales. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected EBITA to slip 5.9 percent to 77.8 million.
The firm’s order backlog at end-June was up 2.3 percent from the end of 2013, helped by good orders at its pulp and paper and its metals business areas in the first quarter.
Cost overruns and a low rate of conversion of orders into sales had hit its first-quarter earnings, which missed market expectations.
Andritz said in April it had finally completed the Montes del Plata pulp mill in Uruguay which had been beset by cost overruns and led to two profit warnings last year.
Andritz is seeking 200 million euros from a joint venture owned by Stora Enso and Arauco over the Uruguay project, Stora Enso said in June.
Andritz builds plants and provides services for the hydropower, pulp and paper, environment, metals, animal feed and biofuel industries. It also sells technology to separate solids and liquids to municipalities and industry.
Second-quarter order intake, flat at 1.24 billion euros, was roughly in line with market expectations. Net income excluding minority interests rose a better-than-expected 7.5 percent in the quarter and 42 percent in the first half to 66.7 million.
Andritz acquired German peer Schuler last year.
1 US dollar = 0.7472 euro Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Angelika Gruber and Mark Potter