Aker Kvaerner: Strong Growth, Profit
Aker Kvaerner reported strong fourth quarter 2006 results with an EBITDA of NOK 905 million and NOK 3 170 for the full year.
The EBITDA, excluding Pulping & Power, was NOK 786 million for the fourth quarter and NOK 2 872 million for the year, an increase of 31 percent and 58 percent respectively compared to last year. The general activity level remained high and Aker Kvaerner's main markets developed positively throughout 2006. This resulted in a high quality order backlog of NOK 59.7 billion by the end of the year.
The Board of Directors will propose an extraordinary dividend following the Pulping & Power divestment of NOK 30 per share for 2006 and an ordinary dividend of NOK 10 per share, amounting to a total of NOK 2 200 million. The Pulping & Power business is presented as discontinued operations. Aker Kværner has announced an initiative to activate a share buy-back program to last until the ordinary general assembly 29 March 2007.
Operating revenues for the fourth quarter 2006 reached NOK 15 304 million compared to NOK 11 924 million for the same quarter last year, an increase of 28 percent. Operating revenues totaled NOK 50 592 million in 2006 compared to NOK 36 940 million in 2005, a growth of 37 percent.
EBITDA increased in the fourth quarter to NOK 786 million, compared to NOK 680 million in the corresponding period last year. Adjusted for a one time sales gain in the fourth quarter 2005, this reflects a growth of 31 percent. Full-year EBITDA amounted to NOK 2 872 million, which is a 58 percent increase from NOK 1 816 million in 2005. The full-year EBITDA-margin was 5.7 percent, compared to 4.9 percent in 2005.
Order intake in the fourth quarter was NOK 12.8 billion. At the end of December the order backlog was at a level of NOK 59.7 billion - an increase of 23 percent from 2005 to 2006.
Cashflow from operating activities was NOK 2 636 million in 2006, reflecting a NOK 678 million increase in net current operating assets. Cash and bank deposits at the end of December amounted to NOK 5.7 billion. The liquidity buffer, including undrawn credit facilities of NOK 6.2 billion, was NOK 11.9 billion. In addition NOK 2 411 million is pledged for the defeased loan of EUR 260 million.
The refinancing of Aker Kvaerner was successfully concluded 1 December. The syndication of the bank facility of EUR 750 million attracted substantial interest in the market. Aker Kvaerner also issued bonds with a total amount of NOK 1.6 billion in connection with the refinancing. Net financial expenses include NOK 652 million in refinancing costs.
The sale of the Pulping & Power businesses to Metso Corporation was approved by the European Commission in December, and the transaction was closed by 31 December 2006. The final transaction value has been based on the balance sheet as of 31 December 2006. The net cash effect is NOK 2.6 billion and net gain compared to book value, NOK 2 327 million.
18 January 2007 Aker Kvaerner announced a buy-back of 300 000 shares at NOK 660 per share in connection with the limited divesture of shares by Aker ASA.
The share price increased from NOK 414.50 at year-end 2005 to NOK 778 at the end of 2006. This increase of 88 percent represents a value creation of NOK 20 billion for Aker Kvaerner's shareholders in 2006.
Aker Kvaerner ASA, through its subsidiaries, is a global provider of engineering and construction services, technology products and integrated solutions. The business within Aker Kvaerner comprises several industries, including Oil & Gas, Refining & Chemicals, Mining & Metals and Power Generation. The Aker Kvaerner group is organized in a number of separate legal entities. Aker Kvaerner is used as the common brand/trademark for most of these entities.
The parent company in the group is Aker Kværner ASA. Aker Kvaerner has aggregated annual revenues of approximately NOK 50 billion and employs approximately 23 000 people in about 30 countries.
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