Orkla First Quarter 2003

Main trends in the first quarter

Lower beer sales in Europe resulted in a poor start to the year for Carlsberg Breweries. For Orkla's other industrial operations the trend was positive, taking into account the effects of a late Easter and structural changes in the Chemicals business.
The Financial Investments division achieved a higher return than the Oslo Stock Exchange Benchmark Index, but the results were weak due to the continuing decline on the financial markets. At the end of the first quarter, the market value of the portfolio was lower than the book value, as a result of which NOK 668 million was posted as a loss on portfolio shares. At the end of April, however, this loss had been fully reversed due to an upswing on the market.
Orkla's stake in Enskilda Securities was sold in the first quarter, at a gain of NOK 513 million.
After this, Orkla's pre-tax loss amounted to NOK 9 million, compared with a profit of NOK 425 million in the first quarter of last year.