Moderate opening for KONGSBERG
Kongsberg Gruppen (KONGSBERG) reports an EBITA of MNOK 51 (MNOK 34) at the close of Q1 2004. Operating revenues totalled MNOK 1 526, compared with MNOK 1 639 in Q1 2003. "Sales are behind last year's figure, but Maritime has a favourable order situation and we have implemented measures to enhance profitability. In the light of this, we expect to see an operating profit for the year approaching the 2003 level", comments Chief Executive Officer Jan Erik Korssjøen.
"However, owing to the lack of new orders for Penguins and NSMs, as well as a dip in hydroacoustic activities, I am not satisfied with our financial result thus far. A number of profitability enhancement measures have been implemented to strengthen competitiveness and cut costs. We will continue to focus on product development, and forge stronger bonds with our customers", emphasises Chief Executive Officer Jan Erik Korssjøen.
Strong influx of orders for Maritime KONGSBERG's overall backlog of orders at the end of Q1 2004 was valued at MNOK 5 873, compared with MNOK 5 925 at 31 December 2003. Maritime's backlog of orders increased by MNOK 263 during Q1. "The shipbuilding market is booming at the moment, and we have a strong influx of new orders. As a result of shipyards' limited capacity, however, delivery times for backlog orders have increased. This limits opportunities for short-term growth, but guarantees future activity", Korssjøen points out. The yachting market is also dynamic. The season began with a higher volume, but rising price pressure is challenging profit margins. Investments are down in the fisheries market.
Transition contract for NSM At the end of Q1 2004, Defence & Aerospace had a backlog of orders valued at MNOK 4 044, compared with MNOK 4 352 at 31 December 2003. The prolongation of the NSM development programme will lead to higher costs for the programme. "It is therefore positive that the cabinet has asked parliament for authorisation to sign a contract with us to cover the transition phase between NSM development and production. In addition, active efforts are being made to secure new orders for Penguins", adds the CEO.
EBT of MNOK 34 During Q1, KONGSBERG sold shares in Kitron ASA, earning a gain of MNOK 31. The EBT was MNOK 34 (- MNOK 8), resulting in a profit per share of NOK 0.80 (- NOK 0.20).
KONGSBERG has MNOK 1 857 in equity, and an equity ratio of 31 per cent (31 per cent).
For further information, please contact: Jan Erik Korssjøen, Chief Executive Officer Telephone: ( 47) 322-89510 - ( 47) 920-60000 Arne Solberg, Chief Financial Officer Telephone: ( 47) 322-89575 - ( 47) 920-60011