Norwegian offshore services group Aker Maritime forecast
a considerable rise in profits in 2000 after weak oil markets depressed
earnings in 1999. Due to low order intake in 1999, the company's level of activity is likely to continue to decline in the first half of 2000, but earnings are expected to improve significantly in later in the year, a company spokesperson said.
The company reported that profits after financial items, the equivalent of pre-tax earnings, fell to 7.8 million from $85.5 million. The company had a net loss of $2.1 million against a 1998 profit of $50.5 million.
The spokesperson said that the increase in oil prices throughout 1999 will lead oil companies to increase their activities in exploration and deep water. This is expected to be positive for the company, he said, even if its activity level as a whole is significantly lower than in 1999.