As a result of the continued very heated situation in the shipbuilding industry, and continued high loading in the Finnish operations, the delivery program for ferries in Finland has been further revised. Several of the projects will be delivered some weeks or months later than planned. As when the delivery plan is been shifted, the project estimates have been revised accordingly, and results for 2007 and 2008 will be impacted.
Further, the Board of Directors has decided to evaluate a possible spin-off of the business area Offshore & Specialized Vessels in order to enhance shareholder values.
The Finnish operations of Aker Yards have taken losses in 4Q on its order book by NOK 400 million, lowering the expected result for Aker Yards in 2007 to approximately NOK 500 million EBITDA. The net profit is estimated at about NOK 350 million. The losses in Finland will have a diluting effect on margins in 2008. The margin level on cruise vessels in Finland has also been revised downwards. The combined effect gives an estimated EBITDA margin for the Group for 2008 at around 4 percent.
The main reason for the revised estimates lies in the previously communicated heavy load in the Finnish operations. The very high level of growth in activity level at the same time as the market is booming has lead to a lack of resources giving a knock-on effect on the total backlog in Finland. For this reason, the deliveries had to be adjusted to a more significant degree than previously anticipated. Towards summer 2008 loading will gradually be coming down.
In order to enhance shareholder values, the Board of Directors has decided to evaluate a possible spin-off of the business area Offshore & Specialized Vessels. Several alternative routes will be evaluated, including spinning the business area off to existing shareholders, by a separate stock listing, or other alternatives that will be attractive to all shareholders. This measure should contribute to identifying the underlying values of the Group.
Management will be available for questions from the press and investors on Tuesday 18th December. A conference call for investors is scheduled at 1600 CET. Please call +47-80080119 if you are calling from Norway or +47-23000400 if you are calling from outside Norway
For further information, please contact:
Yrjö Julin, President & CEO, phone: +47 908 609 85
Juha Heikinheimo, President Cruise & Ferries, phone +358 405 01 5181
Leif Borge, CFO, phone +47 917 86 291
Tore Langballe, SVP, Communications & IR, phone +47 90 77 78 41
Elise Heidenreich, Investor Relations Manager, phone +47 95 14 11 47
Aker Yards ASA is an international shipbuilding group focusing on sophisticated vessels. The group has a strong position both in terms of innovation, product range, technology, experience and capacity. The product range includes cruise vessels & ferries, merchant vessels, offshore & specialized vessels. Aker Yards comprises 18 yards in Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Romania, Ukraine and Vietnam. Aker Yards has approximately 21,000 employees.
This press release includes and is based, inter alia, on forward-looking information and statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ. Such forward-looking information and statements are based on current expectations, estimates and projections about global economic conditions, the economic conditions of the regions and industries that are major markets for Aker Yards ASA and its subsidiaries and affiliates (the "Aker Yards Group") lines of business. These expectations, estimates, and projections are generally identifiable by statements containing words such as "expects," "believes," "estimates" or similar expressions. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expectations include, among others, economic and market conditions in the geographic areas and industries that are or will be major markets for the Aker Yards Group's businesses, oil prices, market acceptance of new products and services, changes in governmental regulations, interest rates, fluctuations in currency exchange rates and such other factors as may be discussed from time to time. Although Aker Yards ASA believes that its expectations and the information in this Press release were based upon reasonable assumptions at the time when they were made, it can give no assurance that those expectations will be achieved or that the actual results will be as set out in this Press release. Neither Aker Yards ASA nor any other company within the Aker Yards Group is making any representation or warranty, expressed or implied, as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of the information in the Press release, and neither Aker Yards ASA, any other company within the Aker Yards Group nor any of their directors, officers or employees will have any liability to you or any other persons resulting from your use of the information in the Press release.
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The Aker Yards Group consists of many legally independent entities, constituting their own separate identities. Aker Yards is used as the common brand or trade mark for most of these entities. In this press release we may sometimes use "Aker Yards," "Group, "we," or "us," when we refer to Aker Yards companies in general or where no useful purpose is served by identifying any particular Aker Yards company.