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AKVA group ASA : 4Q 2011 financial reporting


Highlights - Improvements in challenging quarter

  • Operating revenues in Q4 was 191.0 MNOK compared to 195.9 in Q4 2010. Strong growth in Chile nearly compensated the expected low season in Norway.
     
  • EBITDA in Q4 was 3.2 MNOK compared to minus 8.7 MNOK in Q4 2010 - an improvement of 11.9 MNOK
     
  • EBIT was minus 5.6 MNOK versus minus 16.6 in Q4 2010 - an improvement of 11.0 MNOK
     
  • Order backlog at the end of Q4 was 255 MNOK versus 348 MNOK at the end of Q4 2010.Slowness in investment decisions in Q4 due to fall in salmon prices, but order backlog kept close to end of Q3 level. 
     
  • Revenue in 2011 increased by 151.0 MNOK or 20.3% compared to 2010 and 2011 EBITDA increased by 71.9 MNOK compared to 2010 due to improved margins and reduced cost
     
  • Still expect effects of lower salmon prices in 2012, but signs of normalization in activity level
     
  • Focusing AKVA - sale of Maritech Norway - gain of 28 MNOK in Q1 2012
     
  • Hands on - adjusting operations according to market development, focusing on long term performance, margins and customer relations

In the comments below on the financials, the 2010 figures are presented in brackets following the 2011 stated values when included.

AKVA group is organized into three business segments; Hardware (HW): Includes cages, barges, feed systems and other technology to operate fish farms, Recirculation (RAS): Includes the delivery of land based farms based on recirculation technology, Software (SW): Includes software solutions and professional services related to this.

Operations and profit
Total operating revenues in Q4 were 191.0 MNOK (195.9) with an EBITDA of 3.2 MNOK (-8,7). EBIT was -5.6 MNOK (-16.6). The overall business volume is comparable to last year, but margins are improved due to the operational measures implemented throughout the year. Negative EBIT is explained by low season in Norway and low salmon prices delaying investments decisions from customers in Q4.

Net financial costs were in Q4 6.8 million (2.6), resulting in a profit before tax of -12.4 MNOK (-19.2). Net profit was -9.0 MNOK (-14.5) after allowing for taxes of -3.4 MNOK (-4.7). Minus 6.6 MNOK of net financial cost is related to consolidated currency effects realized in Q4.

YTD operating revenues were 893.6 MNOK (742.5) with an EBITDA of 62.0 MNOK (-9.9). YTD EBIT was 29.3 MNOK (-40.9). Net financial cost in 2011 was 15.0 MNOK (9.9) including currency effects of -2.8 MNOK (2.9). Profit before tax in 2011 was 14.3 MNOK (-50.9). 2011 net profit was 11.5 MNOK (-37.6).

Hardware (HW)
HW had revenues in Q4 of 146.3 MNOK (146.0). EBITDA was 3.9 MNOK (2.8) resulting in an EBITDA margin of 2.7% (1.9%). EBIT in Q4 was -2.6 MNOK (-2.4) representing an EBIT margin of -1.8% (-1.7%).

YoY revenue in Q4 is explained by seasonal trends and slower sales in Norway due to low salmon prices partly offset by continued solid growth and high activity in Chile. Chile experienced in Q4 a 118% growth in revenues from Q4 2010.

YTD revenues for HW were 720.3 MNOK (574.5) with an EBITDA of 62.5 MNOK (16.8). EBIT was 38.2 MNOK (-2.9) after depreciations of 24.3 MNOK (19.7).

Software (SW)
Operating revenue for SW in Q4 was 29.9 MNOK (29.8). The EBITDA was in Q4 1.4 MNOK (2.4) resulting in an EBITDA margin of 4.7% (8.2%). EBIT was in Q4 -0.5 MNOK (0.1) representing an EBIT margin of -1.7% (0.3%).

In Norway the market for software and professional services has remained fairly good, but Christmas effect with lower sale of consultants and software in December have a negative impact on the Q4 margins. Maritech in Iceland still remains slow, due to the slow economy caused by the financial crisis, but stays profitable in 2011.

2011 operating revenues were 112.4 MNOK (106.1) with an EBITDA of 11.3 MNOK (9.0). EBIT was 4.1 MNOK (-1.0) after depreciation of 7.1 MNOK (10.0). 

Recirculation (RAS)
RAS had operating revenues in Q4 of 14.7 MNOK (20.1) with an EBITDA of -2.2 MNOK (-13.9). The Q4 EBIT was -2.5 MNOK (-14.2).

With the recent cost reduction measures and tuning, the RAS segment is positioned for future profitable growth. The financial risk is reduced at the same time as there is a growing interest for recirculation technology within salmon and other species.

2011 operating revenues were 60.9 MNOK (62.0) and 2011 EBITDA was -11.8 MNOK (-35.8). The 2011 EBIT was -13.1 MNOK (-37.0).

Balance sheet and cash flow
The working capital in the group balance sheet, defined as non-interest bearing current assets less non-interest bearing current liabilities was 182.0 MNOK at the end of Q4, down from 185.6 MNOK at the end of Q3. The increase in working capital from 101.6 MNOK at the end of Q4 2010 is related to the higher business volumes, especially in Chile.

Net interest-bearing debt ended at 145.7 MNOK at the end of Q4 compared to 126.0 MNOK at the end of Q3. Gross interest bearing debt was at the end of Q4 182.0 MNOK versus 167.1 MNOK at the end of Q3. Cash and unused credit facilities amounted to 57.2 MNOK. Total assets and total equity amounted to 721.7 MNOK and 323.8 MNOK respectively, resulting in an equity ratio of 44.9%.

Investments in Q4 amounted to 11.8 MNOK of which 5.1 MNOK was capitalized R&D expenses in accordance with IFRS. YTD investments were 30.0 MNOK and 12.5 in capitalized R&D expenses.

AKVA group was in compliance with the financial covenants for the credit facilities at the end of Q4.

Shareholder issues
Earnings per share for Q4 were -0.35 NOK (-0.84). The calculation is based on 25,834,303 (17,222,869) shares average.

Market and future outlook
We still expect effects of lower salmon prices in 2012, but signs of normalization of activity level after initial setup from fall in salmon prices in last months of 2011.

Q1 has higher activity than Q4 due to seasonal trends, especially in the Norwegian market.

The Chilean market is expected to flatten out, but stay at high level into the year.

Export markets pose an opportunity after first significant contracts to Russia and Australia in place.

For the group the order backlog at the end of Q4 was 255 MNOK (348). The order inflow in Q4 was 186 MNOK (274).

The sale of the Maritech business in Norway is a natural step in order to focus the operations of AKVA, giving AKVA group the opportunity to further strengthen and develop the remaining core software activities in AKVA group Software AS, known under the brand FishtalkTM. FishtalkTM is the leading best of breed software within aquaculture globally, and is in use by customers in all regions where AKVA is present. The intention is to develop FishtalkTM to strengthen the brand's position further as well as meet our customers' needs for specialized solutions for aquaculture operations.

AKVA group will stay hands on going forwards in 2012 adjusting operations according to market development, focusing on long term performance, margins and customer relations. Continued focus on working capital and costs.

Dated: 15th February 2012
AKVA group ASA

Web: www.akvagroup.com

CONTACTS:

Trond Williksen Chief Executive Officer
Phone: +47 51 77 85 00
Mobile: +47 91 63 01 73
E-mail: twilliksen@akvagroup.com

Eirik Børve Monsen Chief Financial Officer
Phone: +47 51 77 85 00
Mobile: +47 91 63 98 31
E-mail: emonsen@akvagroup.com

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AKVA group is the leading provider of technology to the global fish farming industry and the only with global distribution. The products consist of software systems, operational equipment and sensor systems, feed systems, cage systems, net cleaning systems, light systems and recirculation aquaculture systems.

This information is subject of the disclosure requirements acc. to §5-12 vphl (Norwegian Securities Trading Act)


AKVA group ASA 4Q PresentationAKVA group ASA 4Q Report
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