Net financial expenses for the first quarter was NOK 44 million as compared to an income of NOK 4 million in the previous quarter. The main difference is due to a loss on currency forward contracts as compared to a gain in the fourth quarter.
Net income for the first quarter was NOK 11 million as compared to NOK 262 million in the previous quarter, which included income from the Balder settlement with Keppel FELS.
Earnings per share were NOK 0.14 for the first quarter.
The Mobile Units incurred an operating loss of NOK 11 million as compared to an operating profit of NOK 28 million in the previous quarter. The reduction is mainly due to lower utilization as West Navigator and West Alpha undertook five-year mandatory classification surveys during the quarter. In addition, West Venture was hit by a supply vessel causing seven days off-hire. The overall utilization rate for the mobile unit fleet was 74 percent as compared to 93 percent in the previous quarter.
Operating profit from the Tender Rigs amounted to NOK 45 million as compared to NOK 102 million in the previous quarter. The reduction is due to lower utilization rate for the tender rig fleet and the fact that the fourth quarter 2003 was positively influenced by a demobilization fee of NOK 35 million for West Menang. The overall utilization rate for the tender rig fleet was 87 percent as compared to 96 percent in the previous quarter.
Operating profit from Well Services amounted to NOK 27 million as compared to NOK 22 million in the previous quarter. The increase reflects efficient operations and high activities for platform drilling, engineering and wireline services.
Kjell E Jacobsen, CEO in Smedvig asa says: "The first quarter was impacted by yard-stays for several of our units. However, Smedvig has built up a strong contract portfolio with a backlog of drilling contracts averaging 20 months for both the mobile units and the tender rigs, which secures employment for all units going forward."
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