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Strong Q1 growth for Kongsberg Gruppen

Kongsberg Gruppen posted operating revenues of MNOK 1 803 in Q1 2002, up MNOK 309 or 21 per cent from Q1 2001. The operating profit was MNOK 83 (MNOK 51), while the EBT (earnings before tax) came to MNOK 61 (MNOK 25). The profit per share was NOK 1.38 (NOK 0.28).

"We have experienced rapid expansion in both main business areas, with operating revenues increasing by no less than 21 per cent. In terms of results, our overall figures are favorable, with the EBT increasing from MNOK 25 to MNOK 61 on the year," comments CEO Jan Erik Korssjøen.

Kongsberg Maritime's business segments have made the greatest strides forward, while, as expected, Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace is lagging behind last year's figures at the moment. Examining each individual segment in more detail, the highlights are as follows:

Merchant Marine (formerly Ship Systems) is continuing its progress from last year. The segment has seen strong improvement in profitability and a good influx of new orders. Offshore & Subsea is still enjoying robust earnings and growth, signing two strategically important contracts in Q1: a framework contract with Statoil relating to the Kristin platform and a contract for deliveries to the Thunder Horse platform BP will be operating in the Gulf of Mexico. Yachting & Fishery reported excellent sales figures for its new commercial sonar. Otherwise, the cost-cutting measures introduced in 2001 are now paying off.

Defence & Aerospace has maintained a high level of activity, but the quarterly result was influenced by start-up costs relating to the production of a major weapons control system for the US Army, and periodic fluctuations associated with the production of Penguin missiles. "We have not modified our expectations for a good result from Defence & Aerospace in 2002," states CEO Korssjøen.

"We have the same overall expectations regarding our prospects now as we had at year-end 2001 when it comes to anticipated growth and improved performance for Kongsberg Gruppen in 2002," concludes Korssjøen.