The company's 1st Quarter EBITDA was $ 23.8 million, in line with the 4th Quarter. Ocean Rig will see strong increase in cash flow from mid 2006, when both rigs will commence work under new contracts at significantly higher day rates.
The net result for the 1st Quarter amounted to $ 2.5 million ($ -8.8 million), corresponding to earnings per share of $ 0.01 ($ -0.05), and diluted earnings per share of $ 0.01 ($ -0.05). The operating result for the 1st Quarter amounted to $ 10.4 million ($ 6.5 million) and EBITDA was $ 23.8 million ($ 20.6 million).
The 1st Quarter accounts were affected by approximately 5 days of non-productive time at zero day rate for Leiv Eiriksson, resulting in $ 1.5 million of reduced revenue.
* On March 22, 2006 an Extraordinary General Meeting approved a 2:1 split of the Company's shares, a new 5 year share option program for a maximum of 5 million shares to directors and key employees and a discounted share purchase program over 3 years for a maximum of 600.000 shares per year for all employees. * On April 3, 2006, the Company closed the issue of a USD 250 million senior unsecured callable bond. * On April 21, 2006, Ocean Rig appointed Trygve Arnesen as new Chief Executive Officer. Trygve Arnesen is currently Senior Vice President for Ship Management in Odfjell ASA. He has long experience from senior management positions in the drilling industry including Prosafe and Transocean. Mr. Arnesen holds a M. Sc. Degree in Petroleum Engineering from NTNU, University in Trondheim.
The Executive Chairman, Geir Aune said: "Ocean Rig is excellently positioned in a strong business environment. This is demonstrated by significant higher day rates on contracts starting this summer and the fact that the Eirk Raude will be the first available rig in the ultra deep water market, after the completion of the ExxonMobil contract in mid 2008."
Ocean Rig owns and operates two of the world's largest and most modern drilling rigs, built for ultra deep waters and extreme weather conditions. The units are currently operating offshore Congo and Norway.
The 1st Quarter interim report with financials and notes can be downloaded from the following link: http://hugin.info/207/R/1047953/172531.pdf
NOTE: This press release contains forward-looking statements (within the meaning of Section 27A of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the United States Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) which reflect the Company's current views with respect to certain future events and financial performance. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected or implied in such forward-looking statements. The following important factors, among other, could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected or implied in any forward-looking statements: (i) the limited operations and operating history of the Company; (ii) the failure of the Bingo 9000 design to perform satisfactorily or the Company's failure to adequately protect the proprietary nature of the Bingo 9000 design; (iii) the Company's significant leverage or inability to generate sufficient cash-flow to meet its debt service requirements; (iv) the Company's inability to meet any future capital requirements; (v) the Company's inability to respond to technological changes; (vi) the impact of changed conditions in the oil and gas industry; (vii) the occurrence of any accidents involving the Company or its assets; (viii) changes in governmental regulations, particularly with respect to environmental matters; (ix) increased competition or the entry of new competitors into the Company's markets; and (x) unforeseen occurrences in any of the areas in which the Company may conduct its operations, such as war, expropriation, nationalization, renegotiation or nullification of existing licenses or treaties, taxation and resource development policies, foreign exchange restrictions, changing political conditions and other risks relating to foreign governmental sovereignty over certain areas in which the Company will conduct operations. Due to such uncertainties and risks, investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance upon such forward-looking statements. Reference should be made to the Company's filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.
For further information, please contact Executive Chairman Geir Aune, or Senior Vice President Finance Per-Hermod Rasmussen, tel: +47 5196 9000.
Stavanger, April 28, 2006 Ocean Rig ASA