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UPDATE 1-Cape order intake falls on contract delays, project deferrals

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(Adds analyst comment, share movement)

May 12 (Reuters) - Energy services provider Cape Plc said orders in the first quarter fell sequentially, hurt by delays in key contracts in the UK and project deferrals at its Motherwell Bridge unit.

Shares in the company fell as much as 12.2 percent in early trading on Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange.

Cape, which supplies scaffolding, insulation, industrial cleaning and fire protection services to oil and gas and power plant operators, expects lower offshore project activity and reduced volumes from coal power station outages in the UK this year.

The company, which last year bought storage tank maker Motherwell Bridge, said order book during Jan. 1 to April 5 fell to 686 million pounds ($1.07 billion) from 746 million pounds at the end of December.

Cape said it had signed contracts with BP Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp worth about 150 million pounds since the end of the quarter.

Arden Partners analyst Daniel Slater said the "solid demand" for Cape's core maintenance activities was reassuring, and that its strong presence in the Middle East and North Africa region could lead to "decent growth" in the second half of the year.

Cape said it remained on track to deliver within expectations for the year.

The company's shares were down 5.2 percent at 254 pence at 0745 GMT.

($1 = 0.6421 pounds) (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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