UPDATE 1-Oerlikon announces share buyback as solid orders offset market challenges

(Adds details on share buyback, outlook, and comments)

Nov 5 (Reuters) - Oerlikon announced a share buyback programme and the Swiss industrial group said on Tuesday it was confident for 2019 after reporting third-quarter numbers in line with its own expectations.

The total value of the share buyback, which will start on Nov. 7 and could finance potential inorganic growth in addition to an employee incentive programme, is expected to be up to 350 million Swiss francs ($353.71 million), Oerlikon said.

The company remains “fully committed” to its strategy of investing in organic and non-organic growth, Chief Executive Roland Fischer said.

“We are currently assuming no further deterioration in the market environment and are leaving our guidance for 2019 unchanged,” Fischer said, adding Oerlikon has a healthy order pipeline, has signed several contracts in automotive and sees opportunities in new technologies.

For the fourth quarter, Oerlikon expects its strong order backlog and pipeline to support sales and benefit from cost-saving initiatives that have been implemented throughout the year, it said.

Considering the challenging market environment, Oerlikon’s third-quarter performance was broadly in line with its own expectations, the group’s CEO said.

Oerlikon’s third-quarter revenue declined to 633 million euros ($704.15 million), while its earnings before interest, taxes, amortisation and depreciation (EBITDA) dropped to 84 million euros, the Swiss group said.

Analysts in a company-compiled consensus had expected Oerlikon’s revenue and EBITDA to come in at 640 million euros and 86 million euros, respectively.

Third-quarter operating profitability of Oerlikon’s surface solutions segment, which was the main reason for the company’s estimate miss in the second quarter, was affected by investment costs, but its revenue was in line with consensus, the company said.

$1 = 0.8990 euros $1 = 0.9895 Swiss francs Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska in Gdansk, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips