Kongsberg Gruppen (KONGSBERG) reports Q1 operating revenues of MNOK 1 661. This is MNOK 233 more than in the same quarter of 2005, i.e. an increase of 16.3 per cent. The operating profit (EBIT) totalled MNOK 89, compared with MNOK 41 in Q1 2005.
"We're off to a good start for the year, and both the Group's business areas have improved their performance in terms of earnings and profits alike", states Chief Executive Officer Jan Erik Korssjøen.
Offshore & Merchant Marine had a consistently good first quarter. Operating revenues came to MNOK 865 (MNOK 781) and the EBIT was MNOK 67 (MNOK 47) in Q1. New orders added up to no less than MNOK 1 173 (MNOK 994) in Q1, resulting in a record-high backlog of orders: MNOK 2 466 (MNOK 1 896) for the business area. In Q1 alone, the contracts signed for system deliveries destined for offshore rigs totalled MNOK 400. Offshore & Merchant Marine also saw an international breakthrough for automation systems for floating production vessels for the offshore market, landing contracts with BP and Bluewater.
By the same token, the market for gas carriers (LNG) is still at a stable good level, and the shipbuilding markets in South Korea, China and Europe remain buoyant. KONGSBERG expects a continued good influx of new orders in 2006 in the offshore market as well as the market for merchant vessels.
Defence & Aerospace posted operating revenues of MNOK 769 (MNOK 621) in Q1, and an EBIT of MNOK 26 (MNOK -5). New orders were relatively modest in Q1, since no major individual orders were booked. New orders are expected to pick up as the year progresses.
The level of activity is high and opportunities are growing for remote weapons systems for armoured personnel carriers. The Group's largest development project, the new Naval Strike Missile (NSM), is on schedule. Negotiations with the Norwegian Armed Forces on serial production are in progress.
For the Group as a whole, new orders in Q1 totalled MNOK 1 445, which is on a par with the same quarter last year. The Group's backlog of orders aggregated MNOK 5 208, down MNOK 208 since year end 2005.
"Altogether, we expect consolidated operating revenues and the operating margin to be somewhat better in 2006 than last year", confirms Chief Executive Officer Jan Erik Korssjøen.
For further information, please contact:
Chief Executive Officer Jan Erik Korssjøen telephone: ( 47) 322-89510 /( 47) 920-60000 Chief Financial Officer Arne Solberg telephone: ( 47) 322-89575 /( 47) 920-60011