Orkla's operating profit (EBITA) totalled NOK 1,015 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. This is an improvement of 6% from the corresponding period of 2013.
Fourth-quarter operating profit for Orkla's branded consumer goods business amounted to NOK 1,030 million, an improvement of 7%.
Branded Consumer Goods reported operating revenues of NOK 7,854 in the fourth quarter, and achieved organic growth of 1.8%. After several weak quarters, Orkla Foods delivered growth in turnover, and Orkla Confectionery & Snacks and Orkla Food Ingredients continued to show a positive trend.
Orkla's operating revenues for the full year totalled NOK 29,599 million, compared with NOK 28,015 million in 2013. Operating profit amounted to NOK 3,237 million in 2014. All four of the business areas in Branded Consumer Goods achieved improvement.
In the fourth quarter, Orkla listed the aluminium company Gränges on the stock exchange, retaining an ownership interest of 31% after the IPO. Orkla Brands Russia was sold, and Orkla Food Ingredients purchased 67% of Condite, Finland's second largest sales and distribution company for bakery ingredients. In January, Orkla entered into an agreement to purchase Cederroth, one of the Nordic region's leading suppliers of personal care, health, wound care and household cleaning products.
"We have continued to take important steps towards becoming a focused branded consumer goods company. In parallel with this demanding process, we have succeeded in improving our operations. A number of our companies are achieving growth in markets where they face stiff international competition. We will now continue our targeted efforts to create stronger brands and enhanced innovations. We intend to be retailers' preferred suppliers in our categories," Orkla President and CEO Peter A. Ruzicka says.
Hydro Power posted operating profit of NOK 73 million in the fourth quarter, compared with NOK 97 million in the corresponding period of 2013. Orkla Eiendom reported a negative operating result of NOK 19 million in the quarter, compared with a negative NOK 9 million in the same period of 2013. At year end, the market value of the Group's shares and financial assets totalled NOK 734 million.
The fourth-quarter operating result from associates and joint ventures (mainly Sapa, Jotun and Gränges) was NOK -252 million, compared with NOK -302 million in the same quarter of 2013. Orkla's share of Sapa's result was NOK -360 million in the quarter. Sapa's results were negatively impacted by extraordinary costs related to the accounting write-down of fixed assets in China. Demand for extruded aluminium products in North America rose by 9%, primarily driven by growth in the automotive and building industry. In Europe, demand was on a par with 2013. Jotun finished the year well with turnover growth in all its market segments.
Orkla's profit before tax totalled NOK 505 million in the fourth quarter, compared with NOK 376 million in the same period in 2013. Orkla's Board of Directors proposes to pay a dividend of NOK 2.50 per share for the 2014 financial year.
Oslo, 5 February 2015
Group Director Corporate Communications and Corporate Affairs
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SVP Investor Relations
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An Excel spreadsheet with key figures is available at www.orkla.com
This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.