KONGSBERG experienced strong growth and good results in 2008. Operating revenues climbed by 33 per cent to MNOK 11 056, while the EBITA rose by 41 per cent to MNOK 1 122. "2008 was an eventful year for KONGSBERG. Before non-recurring items, the Group is reporting its best results ever", says CEO Walter Qvam.
KONGSBERG booked new orders valued at MNOK 14 635 in 2008, compared with MNOK 14 338 in 2007. The backlog of orders aggregated MNOK 16 692 at 31 December 2008, compared with MNOK 12 646 a year earlier. "KONGSBERG is in a good position at the outset of 2009, providing a strong platform for further operations. However, it is hard to tell how the Group's markets will develop in the latter half of 2009, so we are following the situation closely. We have already introduced several initiatives, and we are considering the need for further adjustments on an ongoing basis", adds Qvam.
At year end, consolidated equity came to MNOK 1 894 (15 per cent), compared with MNOK 2 758 (29.9 per cent) at year-end 2007. A pronounced strengthening of the EUR and USD against the NOK in Q4 reduced the value of currency futures; the change was recognised directly against equity. At year-end 2008, the Group had net interest-bearing debt of MNOK 1 439, compared with net cash reserves ofMNOK 242 at 31 December 2007. This situation is due to major investments in new manufacturing facilities in Norway and the USA, as well as to the acquisition of the assets and the operations of Hydroid Llc. in the US and the acquisitions of GlobalSim Inc. in the US and GeoAcoustics Ltd. in the UK.
Q4 operating revenues came to MNOK 3 390 (MNOK 2 215), and the EBITA was MNOK 319.
The Board of Directors will propose to the General Meeting that a dividend of NOK 5.50 per share be paid for 2008. This corresponds to roughly 30 per cent of the net profit for the year.
Kongsberg Maritime posted operating revenues of MNOK 6 425 (MNOK 4 850) and an EBITA of MNOK 691 (MNOK 506) in 2008. New orders were valued at MNOK 7 733 (MNOK 7 218) in 2008. The backlog of orders increased by MNOK 1 772 to MNOK 7 105 during the year. The BA is maintaining strong positions on the market, and has had a good influx of new orders in both Q4 and for the year as a whole. The BA has a strong backlog of orders, but did have some cancellations towards year end.
Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace posted operating revenues of MNOK 4 450 (MNOK 3 338) and an EBITA of MNOK 416 (MNOK 273) in 2008. The BA experienced substantial improvement in its margins in 2008. New orders added up to MNOK 6 835 (MNOK 7 085) in 2008, while the backlog of orders climbed from MNOK 7 232 to MNOK 9 629 during the year. The BA fortified its market positions in 2008. There was a particularly strong influx of new orders for the Protector weapons control system, which accounted for NOK 4.2 billion of the orders, NOK 2.52 billion of which were under the CROWS framework contract signed with the US Army in 2007.
At year-end 2008, KONGSBERG had 5 243 employees, a rise of 1 038 individuals in 2008. The Group expanded its workforce outside Norway by 641 individuals to 1 443 employees, accounting for 28 per cent of the total number of employees.
For further information, please contact: CEO Walter Qvam - telephone: ( 47) 322 89510 - ( 47) 905 25 226 CFO Arne Solberg - telephone: ( 47) 322 89575 - ( 47) 920 60 011