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AKVA group will report weaker financial results for 4Q 2008 than anticipated. Implementation of cost reduction measures.


The challenging sanitary situation in Chile has lead to a major reduction in sales volume to this market in 2008 and further reductions are expected for 2009.  For products delivered to this market that originate in Chile (INTECH) the operational cost level has already been reduced. However, several of the OPTECH products delivered to Chile originate from Norway and the reduced volume in Chile is now also affecting the production volumes in the Norwegian organization. Furthermore, the reduced demand from the cod industry, the global financial turmoil and the resultant uncertainty amongst our customers have led to a lower order inflow than anticipated for equipment and technology during 4Q 2008 for delivery in 4Q 2008 and in 2009.
 
As a result of this situation the revenues for 4Q 2008 for AKVA group were lower than anticipated which affected the profitability for the period. The reduction in revenues is related to both business areas. Consequently, the operational result (EBITDA) for 4Q 2008 for the company is expected to be around zero.
 
AKVA group has therefore decided to implement measures to reduce the operational cost level of the company. The measures include reduction of staff in Norway and globally to decrease the operational cost. Combined with measures implemented in 4Q 2008 the total cost effect of the measures will be of about 26 MNOK compared to 2008. The tasks are being implemented with immediate effect.
 
Even though the prospect mass and the underlying demand for AKVA group technology remain strong in other markets than Chile, the general outlook is still dominated by uncertainty due to the global financial turmoil.
 
AKVA group's long term strategic plan to grow the business into new markets and other species than salmon continues and is not affected by the cost reduction measures which have been implemented by the company. Presently the outlook within this area is promising and is expected to show a continued positive development in 2009.

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