Through share divestitures, Aker freed up NOK 9.1 billion gross of cash in the quarter. After debt repayment and some smaller investments in the first quarter, Aker had cash, cash equivalents, and short-term interest-bearing receivables of NOK 8.1 billion as of 31 March 2007. This provides Aker with significant financial clout and helps ensure Aker shareholders' future dividend payments, in line with Aker's established dividend policy.
Going forward, the outlook and projected growth for Aker's main business activities are favorable. The Group and its associated companies had a total order backlog of NOK 66 billion as of 31 March 2007, compared with NOK 64 billion three months earlier; revenues and profits are increasing.
As of 31 March 2007, Aker ASA and holding companies had a value-adjusted equity of NOK 33 billion, down from NOK 35 billion as of 31 December 2006. The decrease is largely attributable to the share-price development of Aker Kværner. Value-adjusted equity as of 7 May amounted to NOK 34 billion or NOK 470.46 per share.
As discussed in the fourth-quarter 2006 report, the Aker Group's consolidated accounts are significantly changed as of the first quarter 2007. Aker Yards is no longer part of the Group; profits from Aker Yards' business activities are presented in the accounts under profit from discontinued operations. Aker Kværner is no longer consolidated. Aker's share of Aker Kværner profits is presented under share of profit from associated companies.
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