Kongsberg Gruppen (KONGSBERG) posted operating revenues of MNOK 5 705 (MNOK 5 814) and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of MNOK 360 (MNOK 221) in 2005. Earnings before tax (EBT) came to MNOK 311 (MNOK 179) and the profit per share was NOK 9.93 (NOK 4.03).
"We had a slight decline in revenues, but made progress in terms of profitability. Q4 2005 revenues and the EBIT were lower than in 2004, especially for the Defence & Aerospace. This is primarly ascribable to the business area's communications activities ending less vigorously than previous years. All in all, operating revenues and the operating margin are expected to be somewhat better in 2006 than in 2005, states Chief Executive Officer Jan Erik Korssjøen.
The Group reported Q4 operating revenues of MNOK 1 448 (MNOK 1 894) and an EBIT of MNOK 121 (MNOK 172). The Group's backlog of orders at year-end was valued at MNOK 5.416 (MNOK 5 425). Offshore & Merchant Marine increased its backlog by MNOK 485 ( 29 per cent), while Defence & Aerospace reduced its backlog by MNOK 524 (-14.4 per cent). Net interest-bearing debt declined from MNOK 1 101 at 1 January 2005 to MNOK 323 at 31 December 2005. The reduction was largely due to the sale of Yachting activities in the autumn. The sale entailed a preliminary gain of MNOK 74 after tax.
Defence & Aerospace reported operating revenues of MNOK 2 564 (MNOK 2 704) and an EBIT of MNOK 117 (MNOK -31) in Q4. The business area experienced delays in new orders for military communication products, resulting in a weaker Q4 than previous years. The business area's largest development project, the new Naval Strike Missile (NSM), has shown good progress. The Remote Weapon Station (RWS) attracted a strong influx of new orders and saw good results in 2005. "Defence & Aerospace had a good second half, but delays in military communications also had an impact on the net profit for the year. The business area is currently expanding its international activities by entering the US market, as well as through the acquisition of Gallium Software Inc. of Canada and Norcontrol IT", continues Korssjøen.
Offshore & Merchant Marine continued to show improved performance and had an EBIT margin of more than 10 per cent in the latter half of the year. The business area earned operating revenues of MNOK 3 034 (MNOK 3 013) and had an EBIT of MNOK 262 (MNOK 242) in 2005. "Offshore & Merchant Marine has good markets, and saw a strong influx of new orders. The backlog of orders was worth MNOK 2 158 (MNOK 1 673) at the beginning of 2006. The level of activity in the oil and gas industry picked up significantly in 2005, and the vessel markets in South Korea, China and Europe continue to boom", states CEO Jan Erik Korssjøen.
The Board of Directors proposes a dividend of NOK 2.15 (NOK 2.00) per share, which is commensurate with the company's dividend policy.
The 2004/2005 figures have been adjusted by deducting yachting activities from the Yachting & Fishery segment as a result of the sale.
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