SNC-Lavalin says its earnings plummeted in the third quarter due to unfavourable conditions at two oil and gas projects in the Middle East that the engineering and construction company has previously warned will hurt its 2016 results.

The Montreal-based firm earned $43.3 million for the three months ended Sept. 30, compared to $224.2 million a year ago when it recorded a $145.7-million gain from the sale of its stake in the Ambatovy Nickel Mine Project in Madagascar.

Excluding one-time charges, SNC-Lavalin earned $67 million or 45 cents per diluted share, down from $115.8 million or 78 cents per share a year earlier. The decrease was mainly due to challenges at the Middle East oil and gas projects.

Revenues fell 11 per cent to $2.68 billion.

Despite the weaker results, SNC-Lavalin said its costs decreased by 16.5 per cent in the quarter. The company has cut $95.3 million in costs over nine months, near its $100-million goal for the entire year. It maintained its earnings guidance for the year of $1.30 to $1.60 per share, which was cut in September when it warned of a difficult third quarter.