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COMUNICADOS DE PRENSA - INFORMACIÓN FINANCIERA

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4Q 2007 and preliminary 2007 Financial Report


Highlights
 
Operating revenue in 4Q was 237 MNOK and the period's EBITDA was 27.9 MNOK.  Total revenue  for 2007 was 932 MNOK and the EBITDA was 90.7 MNOK.
 
-  The order backlog was 381 MNOK, highest quarterly ever, at the end of 4Q, an increase of 59% compared to same time last year. 
 
The general outlook for the first half of 2008 remains good, despite the challenging fish health situation in Chile 
 
The acquisition of 100% of the shares in UNI Aqua AS finalised - AKVA taking a leading role in the high growth recirculation market.
 
New regional office in South East Asia, to strengthen position in non-salmon markets.
 
In this report all pro-forma accounts are presented as if Maritech were acquired 1 January 2006, unless otherwise stated. UNI Aqua is included from 1 October 2007. In the comments below on the financial accounts, the 2006 figures are presented in parentheses following the 2007 stated values when included.
 
Operations and profit (pro forma)
Operating revenues in the 4Q increased strongly to 236.6 MNOK (196.3) representing an increase of 21%. The increase is driven by growth in the Norwegian and Chilean market. The EBITDA in 4Q was MNOK 27.9 (20.3).
 
Operating revenue for 2007 was 932 MNOK (704).  The EBITDA for 2007 was 90.7 MNOK (87.4). The growth in revenues is mainly related to the INTECH business area with an increase in the sales of both feed barges and cages. The result in 4Q was positively affected by approximately 9.9 MNOK due to several one-off items and cost items not related to 4Q operations. An important part of this was the unwinding of a defined benefit pension scheme in parts of the organisation and transformation into a defined contribution scheme.
This intra-group harmonising will also reduce future risks related to pension liabilities.
 
Depreciation and amortisation amounted to 24.2 MNOK (21.1) for 2007.  EBIT in the period was 66.4 MNOK (66.3).  Net interest expense year to date was -1.7 MNOK (-4.0). Other financial income was 0.9 MNOK (-0.2).  Profit before tax for 2008 was 65.6 MNOK (62.1). Net profit after allowing for taxes of 11.9 MNOK (13.5) was 53.6 MNOK (48.6).
The low tax rate is mainly explained by a favourable decision by the Norwegian tax authorities in a dispute related to tax loss carry forwards.
 
Operations Technology (OPTECH)
The operating revenues for OPTECH in 4Q were 101 MNOK (93). The EBITDA for 4Q was 10.3 MNOK (10.7).
 
4Q revenues within the main products were at approximately the same level as in 4Q 2006.  The growth is mainly related to the inclusion of UNI Aqua from 1 October 2007. The OPTECH revenue growth was again limited by capacity constraints of customers' subcontractors in Chile and longer lead times in Norway in the production of barges (INTECH products) containing OPTECH products and thus the deliveries were pushed forward into 2008.
 
The operating revenues for OPTECH for 2007 were 414.5 MNOK (371.8), EBITDA was 39.5 MNOK (50.6). 
 
Operationally the focus for OPTECH is maintained on further strengthening project management and implementing measures to reduce the cost of production. This is expected to improve the margins for the ongoing projects to into 2008.
 
Infrastructure Technology (INTECH)
The operating revenues in 4Q increased to 135.3 MNOK (103.3) - up 31% from the same period last year. As for OPTECH the growth is mainly driven by the Norwegian and Chilean markets. The EBITDA in the period was 17.6 MNOK (9.5).
 
The EBITDA margin in INTECH improved in 4Q however the year to date margin is still affected by an increase in the number of lower margin barges delivered and competitive pressures on prices in Chile and in the Norwegian market.  
 
Operations in INTECH continue to focus on achieving economies of scale benefits in the main production facilities in Norway and Chile.
 
Operations and profit (legal accounts)
Operating revenue in 4Q increased strongly to 237 MNOK (152) representing an increase of 56%. The EBITDA in 4Q was 27.9 MNOK (14.5).  Operating revenue year to date was 860.8 MNOK (355.9). Year to date EBITDA was 86.8 MNOK (44.8). The growth in revenues is mainly explained by the merger with Wavemaster group and Polarcirkel in 2006; the acquisition of Maritech (included from 1 May 2007) and the growth in the Norwegian and Chilean market.
 
Depreciation and amortisation amounted to 21.6 MNOK (9.9) year to date. EBIT in the period was 65.2 MNOK (34.9). Net interest income for 2007 was -3 MNOK (-1.7). Other financial expenses were 0.9 MNOK (0.3).  Profit before tax for 2007 was 63.1 MNOK (33.5). Net profit after allowing for taxes of 11.1 MNOK (5.3) was 52.0 MNOK (28.3).
 
Balance sheet (Legal accounts) and cash flow (Pro-forma)
Working capital in the group balance sheet, defined as non-interest bearing current assets less non-interest bearing current liabilities was 109.4 MNOK up from 101.9 MNOK at the end of 3Q. The working capital will fluctuate in relation to ongoing projects, in particular related to INTECH projects. Net interest bearing debt amounted to 26.7 MNOK at end of 4Q vs. -5.2 MNOK in 3Q. Cash and unused credit facilities amounted to 159.0 MNOK. Total assets and total equity amounted to 684.7 MNOK and 336.4 MNOK, respectively, resulting in an equity ratio of 49.1% at the end of 2007. The year to date legal cash flow statement is affected by the acquisition of Maritech and UNI Aqua in the period, and thus not reflecting actual underlying investments in the period.  Net underlying investments in 2007 amounted to 29.1 MNOK whereof 10.1MNOK is capitalized R&D expenses in accordance with IFRS.
 
Shareholder issues
Earnings per share for 2007 were NOK 3.11 (3.47), the calculation is based on 17,222,869 (8,918,090) shares average. The Board propose a dividend for 2007 of NOK1.00 per share, representing 32% of the year's net profit.
 
Acquisition of UNI Aqua
In October the agreement to acquire 85% of the shares in the Danish company UNI Aqua AS was closed. In December an agreement was signed for the acquisition of the remaining 15% of the shares. The company is a leading supplier of recirculation aquaculture systems. The Board views this as an important strategic move.
 
Sale of Maritceh Ehf (Iceland)
In December 2007 AKVA announced that a process to sell off Maritech Ehf. was initiated. The process is ongoing and is expected to be finalised in during the first half of 2008. Reference is made to the public notification.
 
Market and future outlook
The general market outlook towards the salmon farming industry in Norway is good at the moment. However, due to the rampant challenging fish health situation in the Chilean market, some companies have now introduced capital expenditure restrictions. This is expected to be affecting the volume of the INTECH business in Chile during 2008. As a consequence AKVA has decided to implement measures to reduce the costs in INTECH Chile to this new situation.
 
The activity towards other species than salmon continued to expand during 2007, the outlook for 1H 2008 is also good within this area.
The order backlog was 382 MNOK (241) at the end of 4Q 2007, which is up 59% compared to last year. The general market activity, the order backlog combined with a good order inflow also in 1Q 2008 supports a high activity for the first half of 2008.
 
Dated: 26 February 2007
AKVA group ASA
 
 
Contacts:
 
Knut Molaug, Chief Executive Officer
Phone: +47 51 77 85 40 or +47 901 39 522
 
Rolf Andersen, Chief Financial Officer
Phone: +47 51 77 85 48 or +47 952 40 951
 
************************************************************
 
AKVA group is the leading provider of technology
to the fish farming industry and the only with global
distribution. The products consist of software,
sensors systems, feed systems, cage systems and
recirculation systems.
 
 

AKVA 4Q 2007 ReportAKVA 4Q 2007 Presentation
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