Veidekke Continues to Make Progress

Significant upswing in profits, high level of activity, positive prospects, strong order situation - these were the key words in President & CEO Terje R. Venold's presentation of Veidekke's third-quarter results.

Significant upswing in profits, high level of activity, positive prospects, strong order situation - these were the key words in President & CEO Terje R. Venold's presentation of Veidekke's third-quarter results.

"It is satisfying to see better results, and perhaps most satisfying to see improvement in the third quarter in all our divisions," says President & CEO Terje R. Venold. "This shows that our many improvement processes are taking effect and that our basis for further development has been strengthened," he adds.
 
Veidekke achieved a turnover for the third quarter 2004 of NOK 3 106 million (NOK 2 817 million for the third quarter 2003) and a pre-tax profit of NOK 105.1 million (NOK 57.9 million). The Group's operating profit for the third quarter was NOK 93.8 million (NOK 60.4 million), after taking into account goodwill amortisation at NOK 24.4 million (NOK 22.3 million). Net financial items amounted to NOK -9.6 million (NOK -13.7 million).
 
For the first nine months of the year, turnover totalled NOK 9,079 million (NOK 8,163 million). Pre-tax profit was NOK 183.7 million, as against NOK 94.8 million for the same period last year.
 
Construction operations in Norway are still leading the way in the upward trend, but property operations in Sweden and Norway are benefiting from the growth in the housing market. Activity is generally high in the Norwegian market and this is reflected both in our very healthy order books and in the high number of dwellings (2000 at the end of the quarter) that are now under construction.
 
Veidekke's Danish division, Hoffmann, reports positive figures for the third quarter, but the after effects of the problems in Jylland will mean that the results for the year as a whole will be far from satisfactory.
 
There have been no great changes in the situation for construction operations in Sweden since the previous quarter. Operations in Gothenburg continue to show the best results. Activities in Stockholm and Skåne show an improvement compared with the same period last year, even disregarding the substantial write-down following from the winding up of the steel operations in Skåne.
 
The results for the activities of the Industry Division are on a par with last year, when we take into account the loss of profits from Ramirent. Asphalt operations show an increase in turnover, but the heavy pressure on prices in the market has stood in the way of a corresponding increase in profits. The most positive development for Veidekke Gjenvinning (recycling) is to be seen in industrial waste. The recycling market has been relatively low for a long time, but is now rallying in step with the higher level of activity in building and construction in Norway.
 
At the end of the third quarter, the Group's total orders-on-hand stood at NOK 9 060 million, compared with NOK 8 651 million at the same time last year and NOK 8 120 million at the beginning of the year.