Profits up at Hydro

Norwegian industrial concern Norsk Hydro reported hefty profit gains on Monday, largely because of high world oil prices.

Norwegian industrial concern Norsk Hydro reported hefty profit gains on Monday, largely because of high world oil prices. Hydro management cited "improvements in all core areas."

Net income in the first quarter hit NOK 2.48 billion, or NOK 9.60 per share, up from NOK 2.13 billion, or NOK 8.30 per share, during the same quarter last year.

Pre-tax net amounted to NOK 7.51 billion, up from NOK 5.59 billion last time. Operating profits climbed to NOK 6.77 billion (about USD 950 million) from NOK 4.82 billion.

Hydro chief executive Eivind Reiten said the company's oil and gas division was particularly strong, with production setting new records at the same time prices remained high.

Oil and gas production in the first quarter of 2003 reached an average 552,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day.

"Extensive improvement programs" in Hydro's aluminium division are "on schedule," he said, while Hydro's agricultural products unit posted "good results despite high energy costs and unfavorable development in foreign exchange rates."

 

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