Over the next 12-18 months, several recently established Aker companies will pass key developmental milestones. Major investment projects will be completed; thereafter, the companies will enter into a phase with well-established operations that provide a positive cash flow.
Recognition of the industrial development underway is key to understanding the Aker Group's first-quarter 2008 consolidated accounts. Operating profit weakened, while investments in Group companies increased significantly compared with the corresponding 2007 reporting period.
As of 31 March 2008, the book value of drilling rigs, floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessels, product tankers, and other property, plant, and equipment was NOK 14.6 billion, up NOK 9.8 billion compared with the close of the first quarter of 2007. Two drilling rigs owned by Aker Drilling comprise NOK 6.9 billion of this amount.
As the main shareholder in core Aker companies, Aker ASA plays an active role in fostering the companies' growth and development. Aker provides support and helps drive growth and development, in accord with established business plans. In this way, Aker actively creates value in these companies and for Aker ASA shareholders over time.
The development in underlying value for Aker ASA's shareholders is most readily seen in the combined balance sheet for the parent company Aker ASA and holding companies.
Market adjusted net asset values amounted to NOK 29.9 billion as of 31 March 2008. The figure represents a decrease of NOK 3.4 billion compared with year-end 2007, and is NOK 2.9 billion below the year-earlier figure. Net asset values amounted to NOK 413.85 per Aker ASA share as of 31 March 2008.
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