While the revenues grew with 14.2 percent and new order intake amounted to NOK 7 344 million, an ongoing project within Offshore & Specialized Vessels for A.P. Moller - continued to negatively influence the EBITDA result also in the third quarter. The transaction with FLC West was completed at the end of July. This resulted in a profit from discontinued operations of NOK 791 million and increased the equity ratio to 22 percent.
As communicated in the report for the second quarter 2008, several ships in a series of ten vessels for A.P. Moller - Maersk have suffered from delays and poor quality. This project constitutes a significant part of the ongoing projects within the business area Offshore & Specialized Vessels. The problems have continued in the third quarter, and will negatively affect the results for the remainder of 2008.
While measures to improve the project execution for the A.P. Moller - Maersk vessels have been introduced, the impact of this ten vessel delivery program will negatively impact the group results for 2008. As a result, the Board has revised its guidance. The revised guidance for 2008 is an EBITDA margin of one to two percent.
Earnings per share (EPS) were NOK 6.47 in the quarter, compared with NOK 0.16 in the same period in 2007.
During the third quarter, STX Europe delivered a total of twelve vessels. Order intake was NOK 7 344 million in the quarter, giving an order backlog of NOK 56 991 million comprising 86 vessels at the end of the period.
In July, STX Norway AS, already a 40.39 percent shareholder at the time, launched a mandatory offer to acquire all remaining shares in STX Europe. After the offer expired 15 August 2008, STX Norway AS holds 88.39 percent of the total issued shares and 92.46 percent of the voting shares in STX Europe. At an extraordinary general meeting on 3 September, the company's name was changed from STX Europe ASA to STX Europe ASA as a reflection of the new ownership structure.
Being a part of the STX Business Group presents a potential for synergies and sharing of best practices within the group. Benefiting from synergies with STX has already started, within areas such as sourcing, engineering, construction methods, project execution, benchmarking and marketing. Sharing best practices and taking advantage of potential synergies is vital in improving the operations and further develop STX Europe's market position.
During the third quarter, Torstein Dale Sjøtveit took up the position as President & CEO of STX Europe ASA.