Aker Yards ASA reported an EBITDA result of NOK 211 million for the first quarter of 2008 for the continuing operations. Earnings per share (EPS) were NOK 0.38 for the quarter, compared with NOK 2.14 in the corresponding period of 2007. The first quarter figures are in line with the expectations of gradual improvement and better predictability in the results through 2008 compared to 2007.
In the first quarter of 2008, Aker Yards' continuing operations had revenues of NOK 7 471 million, an increase of 8.7 percent compared with NOK 6 874 million in the corresponding period of 2007. The EBITDA result was NOK 211 million, compared with NOK 459 million in the corresponding quarter of 2007. The EBITDA margin for the first quarter of 2008 was 2.8 percent. Earnings per share (EPS) were NOK 0.38 in the quarter, compared with NOK 2.14 in the same period in 2007. Order intake in the first quarter 2008 was NOK 870 million, giving an order backlog of NOK 61 550 million comprising 101 vessels at the end of the quarter.
While the market and the operational environment in the entire shipbuilding industry was very heated in 2007, it is now expected that the growth rate will level out. Access to qualified personnel will remain a key focus area in most of the countries in which Aker Yards operates.
During the quarter, it was announced that Aker Yards ASA will take in FLC West, a Russian owned investment company, as a 70 percent shareowner and partner in three of the yards within the business area Merchant Vessels. Aker Yards will receive EUR 291.9 million in payment from FLC West.
The previous guiding for Aker Yards as a group was approximately four percent EBITDA margin for 2008. The Merchant Vessels yards affected by the transaction were for 2008 expected to deliver an EBITDA margin substantially higher than this guiding for the Group. Thus, the sale of 70 percent in the three yards will result in a change in the guided EBITDA margin for Aker Yards' group results for 2008 from approximately four percent as previously guided to approximately three to four percent for 2008.
The transaction with FLC West will result in a strengthening of earnings per share of approximately NOK 11 per share for the 2008 results. The sales transaction is expected to be completed within 30 June 2008, and the net gain from the transaction will be booked in the second quarter results 2008.
As a consequence of the transaction with FLC West, the results from the three sold yards are presented in Aker Yard's accounts as discontinued operations in first quarter 2008 and prior periods' profit and loss statements have been reclassified to be comparable. The remaining part of the business area Merchant Vessels, mainly consisting of the Floro yard, as well as units for development and sales of LNG technologies and other specialized solutions, is transferred to the new reporting segment Other Operations. With this, Merchant Vessels is no longer a separate reporting segment in Aker Yards.