Smith & Nephew's first-quarter trading profit dips

LONDON, May 1 (Reuters) - Smith & Nephew (LSE: SN.L - news) , Europe's largest maker of artificial joints, posted a 5 percent drop in underlying trading profit on Thursday, after some U.S. patients pulled their procedures into the previous quarter.

The company posted trading profit of $229 million on revenue of $1.07 billion, up 1 percent on an underlying basis, both narrowly missing average analyst forecasts.

Chief Executive Olivier Bohuon said the group remained confident in its 2014 outlook as it roll-outs new products and sees an increasing contribution from acquisitions.

Smith & Nephew faces a stronger competitor in Zimmer Holdings Inc, which agreed to buy rival Biomet Inc last week for more than $13 billion.

The deal makes it the second-ranking orthopaedics company behind Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ - news) . Smith & Nephew will be fourth, trailing Stryker (Berlin: SYK.BE - news) .

Analysts said consolidation in the $45 billion global orthopaedics market had been a long time coming.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Kate Holton)