Kvaerner has announced its results for the six months ending June 30, 2002. The positive trend in the Kvaerner Group continued in the second quarter. Profit before tax for the first half of the year was $69 million, compared with $27 million in the same period last year. Several special operating charges, sales and exchange gains are included in the accounts. Earnings before interest, tax and amortisation (EBITA) and excluding the exceptional gains and special operating charges, amounted to $66 million in the first six months. The combined effect of special items, sales gains and amortisation amounted to $31 million negative, and EBIT was $35 million in the six-month period. Kvaerner Shipbuilding improved its EBIT significantly from the first to the second quarter. For the first six months of the year EBITA for the business area was $43 million. Aker Kvaerner, the oil and gas business, reported $34 million in that period, not including a $14 million sales gain booked as a result of the closing of the sale of the Hydrocarbon business. During the second quarter the Norwegian Kroner strengthened against other currencies, creating a gain at the end of June of $54 million. Since then, currency transactions have been concluded that secures most of the unhedged position. During August Kvaerner’s lenders approved the business plan for the Group, in accordance with the overall refinancing agreement concluded at the end of last year. This forms a sound foundation
for the Group going forward. Net interest-bearing liabilities at the end of June were $76 million, significantly down from $125 million three months earlier, and the figure of NOK 6.3 billion at the end of last year. The equity ratio was 24.6 per cent at the end of June, 2002. The improvement of operations is a key priority throughout the Group. Initiatives for increased efficiency and competitiveness were identified in Aker Kvaerner following the merger, and these are currently being implemented. Aker Kvaerner’s performance is expected to remain relatively strong in the second half of 2002, while profits in Kvaerner Shipbuilding will decline significantly, following the very strong first six months.