A strong finish in 2004
Kongsberg Gruppen (KONGSBERG) earned an EBITA of MNOK 223 in 2004, compared with MNOK 383 in 2003. The decline is primarily due to the expense of MNOK 150 in Q2 in connection with the NSM project. Operating revenues totalled MNOK 6 439, compared with MNOK 6 651 in 2003. "We experienced a fourth quarter as expected, earning an operating profit of MNOK 156, compared with MNOK 151 in 2003", comments Chief Executive Officer Jan Erik Korssjøen.
The EBT for 2004 came to MNOK 85 (MNOK 190), while the profit per share was NOK 1.38 (NOK 4.23). Equity capital added up to NOK 1.8 billion, resulting in an equity ratio of 30 percent.
"Defence & Aerospace and Offshore & Merchant Marine ended the year strongly. Yachting & Fishery reported less robust results. All in all, the operating profit for 2004 was almost as much as in 2003, provided we do not include the additional expenses for the NSM (Naval Strike Missile) project", explains CEO Korssjøen.
New orders for Offshore & Merchant Marine were good in 2004, up 9 per cent from the year before, while Defence & Aerospace booked fewer new orders. A major milestone in 2004 was the MNOK 200 contract for the preparations for and the start-up of production of the NSM. The backlog of orders at year end aggregated NOK 5.42 billion, compared with NOK 5.91 billion a year earlier.
"Several of our markets are developing favourably. There will still be risk attached to the Missiles segment in 2005, but the successful test results for the NSM missile, as well as the transition contract, mitigate the risk inherent in the development programme. We expect improved profitability in military communication and weapons control systems for armoured personnel carriers". "The markets for Offshore & Merchant Marine are expected to be especially active. We enjoy good positions in these markets, providing a sound platform for further growth. The Yachting & Fishery markets are in flux. The Yachting market is characterised by increasing pressure on prices, while the Fishery market is experiencing uncertainty related to investment levels. We have implemented measures to address these challenges", states Korssjøen.
"We consider candidates for acquisition and other structural changes on an ongoing basis, at the same time as we continue to implement cost-cutting measures. In 2005, we expect to see operating revenues on a par with 2004 ", summarises CEO Korssjøen.
For further information, please contact:
CEO Jan Erik Korssjøen, telephone 47 32 28 95 10 - 47 920 60 000
CFO Arne Solberg, telephone 47 32 28 95 75 - 47 920 60 011