Press Release

Date:Mon, 26.Feb 1996 From:Orkla

Orkla Group 1995

Main aspects
1995 was a good year for Orkla. There was a positive development in profits and earnings per share increased by 24% to NOK 29.80. Overall the Industrial activities achieved good progress and the return on the Investment area's equity portfolio once again exceeded the rise in the Oslo Stock Exchange All Share Index. In 1995 the acquisition of the food product businesses Procordia Food and Abba Seafood from Volvo and the establishment of a jointly owned beverages company, Pripps Ringnes AB, represented important steps in realising the Orkla Group's internationalisation strategy. More than half the Group's operating revenues is now derived from markets outside Norway.

The Group's operating revenues increased by NOK 831 million (+4.0%) to NOK 21,529 million. The net effect of acquisitions and disposals of businesses has not significantly affected operating revenues. The operating profit in 1995 was NOK 1,745 million, against NOK 1,541 million in the previous year.

The Group's operating profit for 1995 includes non-recurring items in a net amount of NOK 127 million. These are shown on a separate line in the profit and loss account under "Other revenues and costs". These relate to gains on the sale of industrial operations in a net amount of NOK 367 million, together with write-downs/provisions relating to the restructuring of businesses of NOK 240 million. The most important items are gains on the sale of the beverages business in Poland (NOK 219 million), restructuring provisions in Abba Seafood (NOK 160 million) and a provision for possible changes in the contractual arrangement with The Coca-Cola Company for the Swedish market (NOK 80 million for Orkla's 45% share). Excluding "Other revenues and costs" the operating profit was NOK 1,618 million, and the operating margin improved from 7.0% in 1994 to 7.5%. The profits improvement was mainly in Orkla Beverages, Orkla Brands and the Chemicals area and can be attributed to a good development in prices and volumes, as well as lower costs.

The Group's profit before tax rose by NOK 352 million (+22%) to NOK 1,926 million. The tax charge was NOK 470 million, corresponding to 24.4% of the profit before tax. The Group's profit after tax rose by 25% to NOK 1,432 million, which gives earnings per share of NOK 29.80.

Attatched: The full press release , including figures (pdf)

Lysaker, 26.2.1996
The management of Orkla