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SKF sets aside millions for anti-trust probe

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SKF sets aside millions for anti-trust probe
12:39 CET+01:00
The world's largest industrial ball bearing makers on Friday said it would set aside almost half a billion dollars to pay a possible fine, as the European Commission looks into whether SKF broke anti-trust laws.

Swedish ball bearing manufacturer SKF, under investigation for alleged anti-competitive behaviour, said it would book a $455 million provision to cover a potential fine.

SKF, the world's biggest maker of industrial bearings, said in a statement that a European Commission investigation into "possible infringements of
European competition law by certain bearing manufacturers" supplying the European car industry could lead to a fine in 2014.

"I deeply regret that this has happened," the company's chief executive Tom Johnstone said in a statement. "We have a clear code of conduct and a well-established compliance program, which we operate throughout the group, but it did not prevent this from happening. We have since taken further steps to intensify training."

The company also announced that fourth-quarter results would be affected by "slightly lower manufacturing than planned" and that "operating results will be impacted by around 250 million kronor caused by amortisation of inventory revaluation to fair value and other acquisition cost."

In September, SKF acquired US bearings manufacturer Kaydon for $1.25 billion and restructuring costs will amount to about $7 million in the fourth quarter. The company expects to incur an operating loss of around $22 million, which follows eight quarters in a row of year-on-year declines in earnings.

Ball bearings are a vital component in many manufacturing processes and in finished equipment

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