VIENNA, May 20 (Reuters) – Austrian oilfield equipment producer Schoeller-Bleckmann (SBO) said on Wednesday its operating profit fell 40% in the first quarter as the coronavirus sent shockwaves through the energy sector and slowed global production significantly.

Earnings before interest and 1xbet tax (EBIT) fell to 12.1 million euros ($13.25 million) on sales of 108.9 million euros, the group said.

SBO, which builds highly specialised oilfield exploration equipment for energy companies, said it had halved its net debt compared to end-2019 to 9.1 million euros.

($1 = 0.9135 euros) (Reporting by Kirsti Knolle Editing by Michelle Martin)