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One-off effects in Q3 draw down year-end result

Kongsberg Gruppen earned operating income of MNOK 5 296 (4 561) and a profit of MNOK 225 (362) in 2000. As a consequence of extraordinary write-downs, the profit after tax came to MNOK -54. The backlog of orders was valued at MNOK 6 610, compared with MNOK 4 258 at year-end 1999.

"One-off effects from the third quarter, such as the extraordinary write-downs of goodwill in Davis and provisions to cover integration costs for Kongsberg Maritime Ship Systems, are the main explanations for the weak result for the year", explains CEO Jan Erik Korssjøen.

"At the same time, the fourth quarter was among the best in corporate history in terms of operations. We have a record-high backlog of orders, especially in Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace. We have cut costs in 2000 by downsizing staff in areas with weak performance, and several of our main markets are growing rapidly. All in all, we're sailing into 2001 at a brisk clip", stated Korssjøen.

"Insofar as markets are concerned, this applies to the offshore and ship systems markets, and we are especially gratified by our breakthrough with automation systems for LNG carriers. The world wants more clean energy, and transporting gas by sea is a growing market", he adds.

"In 2000, the Group spent about MNOK 500 on product development (approximately 10 per cent of turnover). As a leading high-technology enterprise in Norway, we plan to maintain this level in future. Despite a weak year in 2000, we will continue to pursue our profitability goal of a 10 per cent EBITA", concludes Korssjøen.