STABLE development in net sales and profitability was how Wärtsilä chief executive and president Jaakko Eskola described the first half of 2019.

The Finnish smart technology group, which specialises in maritime, released its half year results noting some challenging areas.

Mr Eskola said their performance in the second quarter was burdened by an unfavourable project and equipment mix.

“Order intake for the first six months was below that of the previous year, largely resulting from the continued macroeconomic and geopolitical uncertainty that has prolonged customer decision-making in the energy markets,” the president said in a market statement.

“Orders received in the marine business remained stable during the same period, as newbuild contracting has favoured the more specialised vessel segments.”

Mr Eskola said uncertainty regarding fuel price development had slowed scrubber orders, which, in combination with concerns about lower overall vessel contracting volumes, had prompted them to lower marine demand outlook for the coming twelve months.

“The outlook for the energy markets has also been lowered, as we expect market conditions to remain challenging in the near-term,” he said.

“In contrast to the softer demand trends in the equipment markets, I am pleased to note that the growth in services related sales has continued in both businesses throughout the second quarter.”