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Q1 profit of MNOK 34

CEO Jan Erik KorssjøenKongsberg Gruppen reports an EBITA of MNOK 34 for Q1 2003, compared with MNOK 102 a year earlier. The decline is ascribable to lower operating revenues and the loss of an arbitration case resulting in the booking of MNOK 50 against operations.

"Meanwhile, Q1 has brought the highest influx of new orders we've seen for several years: NOK 2.4 billion, and we expect a good result for the year as a whole", remarks CEO Jan Erik Korssjøen.

KONGSBERG's Q1 EBT (earnings before tax) came to MNOK -8, compared with MNOK 61 in 2002. The profit per share was NOK -0.20, as opposed to NOK 1.38 last year. "This was a good quarter in terms of operations, but the MNOK 50 verdict of the Arbitration Tribunal had a significant impact on our results", continues Korssjøen.

"The Group as a whole had an excellent influx of new orders in Q1. This was especially true for Defence & Aerospace, where KONGSBERG won major contracts with Kuwait and Hungary for military communications systems. Merchant Marine has also seen a growing influx of new orders since New Year's, while Offshore & Subsea has maintained its level from previous quarters. Yachting & Fishery has several new products that have been well received on the market, and the boat builder Windy has chosen SIMRAD to supply its marine electronics", continues the chief executive officer.

"KONGSBERG has a backlog of orders worth nearly NOK 6 billion, up almost MNOK 800 from year-end 2002. Our net interest-bearing debt is at about the same level as at year end 2002 (MNOK 808) and we have equity of MNOK 1752 or 31 per cent, making KONGSBERG financially sound.

"We expect another good year in 2003, but there is still considerable uncertainty attached to international economic trends and that can impact the Group's markets. As a result, the Board and the administration will monitor market trends closely throughout the year", concludes CEO Jan Erik Korssjøen.