In his report to Orkla`s Annual General Meeting today, Group CEO Jens P. Heyerdahl d.y. said that Orkla had started the year with overall profit before non-recurring items at the same level as last year, but profit from the Nordic branded consumer goods business was lower than at the same time in 1997. Food products and beverages in Norway and Sweden in particular have so far achieved disappointing results. The Chemicals business started the year better than last year. Orkla`s equity portfolio has performed at the same rate as the market as a whole and realised gains were on a par with 1997.