A letter of intent to sell the Pulping and Power businesses to Metso was signed in the first quarter. As it is likely that the final agreement will be signed, and according to International Financial Reporting Standards the Pulping and Power segment is treated as "discontinued operations" in the accounts from 1 January 2006. As Aker Kvaerner will operate the businesses until final closing of the transaction, pro forma accounts showing pulping and power as an integrated part of the group has been prepared as well. All comments in this report refer to the pro forma accounts unless explicitly stated differently.
First quarter revenues totalled NOK 11 588 million, an increase of 38 percent, compared with NOK 8 407 in the same quarter last year, reflecting strong markets and high activity in all reporting segments.
EBITDA for the first quarter was NOK 710 million, positively impacted by a one-time sales gain of NOK 87 million from the sale of Aker Kvaerner Power and Automation Systems. This represents an increase by 89 percent from NOK 376 million in the first quarter 2005. The quarterly EBITDA margin was 6.1 percent compared to 4.5 percent in the first quarter last year.
Order intake in the first quarter was NOK 13.9 billion due to growth in existing contracts and a steady stream of mid-sized and smaller orders. This brings the order backlog to a solid NOK 55.6 billion by the end of March 2006.
Cashflow from operating activities was NOK 447 million in the first quarter, reflecting a low NOK 211 million increase in net current operating assets, mainly due to a positive trend in advances from new contracts. Cash and bank deposits at the end of March amounted to NOK 6.7 billion. The liquidity buffer, including undrawn credit facilities of NOK 2.2 billion, was a comfortable NOK 8.9 billion.
The closing price of the Aker Kvaerner share at the end of March was NOK 580. Accordingly, the company's market capitalisation was NOK 31.9 billion, an increase of NOK 9.1 billion from year end 2005. A total of 19.4 million Aker Kvaerner shares were traded on the Oslo Stock Exchange during the first quarter, which constitutes 35 percent of total outstanding shares.
The market is still expected to be strong with attractive opportunities. With the tight labour market in the industry, the focus for Aker Kvaerner will be to continue to select and execute the right projects successfully.
For further information, please contact:
Media: Torbjørn Andersen, SVP Group Communications, Aker Kvaerner. Tel: +47 67 51 30 36, Mob: +47 928 85 542
Investor relations: Lasse Torkildsen, Vice President, Aker Kvaerner, Group Comms. Tel: +47 67 51 30 39
AKER KVÆRNER ASA, through its subsidiaries and affiliates ("Aker Kvaerner"), is a leading global provider of engineering and construction services, technology products and integrated solutions. The business within Aker Kvaerner comprises several industries, including Oil & Gas, Refining & Chemicals, Mining & Metals, Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology, Power Generation and Pulp & Paper. The Aker Kvaerner group is organised into two principal business streams, namely Oil & Gas and E&C, each consisting of a number of separate legal entities. Aker Kvaerner is used as the common brand/trademark for most of these entities.
The parent company in the group is Aker Kværner ASA. Aker Kvaerner has aggregated annual revenues of approximately NOK 41.4 billion and employs approximately 20 000 people in more than 30 countries.
Aker Kvaerner is part of the Aker Group (www.akerasa.com), a leading multi-industry powerhouse with more than 40 000 employees and NOK 60 billion revenues. Aker owns 50.01 per cent of Aker Kvaerner, and the group is also a major European shipbuilder and a significant participant in the fisheries industry.
This press release may include forward-looking information or statements and is subject to our disclaimer, see our web-pages www.akerkvaerner.com
Full report can be downloaded from www.newsweb.com or www.akerkverner.com.