Orkla's operating profit (EBIT adj.) rose 8% and ended the third quarter of 2017 at NOK 1,267 million. For the Branded Consumer Goods business, operating profit advanced 5%.
Orkla's operating revenues increased 5% to NOK 9,858 million. The Branded Consumer Goods business delivered a 4% increase in sales, with organic growth accounting for 1.2%.
"It has been a challenging quarter, with continued price increases for key commodities in the EU. We have nonetheless managed to improve our operating profit as a result of both top-line growth and cost savings. For the 14th consecutive quarter, we have achieved organic sales growth in Branded Consumer Goods," says Orkla President and CEO Peter A. Ruzicka.
Sales growth at Orkla Foods was broad-based. Orkla Confectionery & Snacks increased its turnover and developed well in all regions except Norway. Orkla Care experienced sales growth in all companies apart from House Care. Revenue performance at Orkla Food Ingredients was on a par with the corresponding quarter in 2016.
Profit from associates came to NOK 103 million, compared with NOK 141 million in the third quarter of 2016. The decline from last year's quarter is due to weaker profit at Jotun. Hydro Power increased its operating profit by 25%, to NOK 80 million. The increase is mainly attributable to higher power prices than those that prevailed in the same quarter of last year.
On 2 October, Orkla received NOK 11.86 billion from Norsk Hydro as preliminary purchase price for the sale of its stake in Sapa. This represents a total valuation of Sapa of NOK 27 billion on a debt-free basis. As at 30 September, Sapa's contribution to group profit amounted to NOK 5.024 billion.
Orkla's pre-tax profit increased by 13%, ending the quarter at NOK 1,312 million.
Earnings per share from continuing operations rose 11% to NOK 0.98 in the third quarter of 2017.
Oslo, 25 October 2017
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An Excel spreadsheet containing key figures is available at www.orkla.no.