Norske Skog predicts bleak year

Operating revenues for this year’s first quarter came to Kr6.1bn, an increase of nine per cent compared with the year before. A net loss of Kr140m after tax was recorded for the period, as against earnings of Kr290m in 2003. The figure for last year included Kr465m in gain on the sale of power stations.

Norske Skog’s improvement programme continues as planned, achieving an effect of KR415 million in the first three months compared with the 2002 base year. This corresponds to an annual improvement in competitiveness of almost KR1.7 billion.

According to Jan Oksum, Norske Skog CEO, “European demand for magazine paper increased by six per cent in the first quarter and high volumes in Australasia look likely to continue. Volumes are also developing positively in South America and several Asian countries. While macro-economic conditions also indicate a recovery in other regions, Norske Skog is not expected to materially benefit from this until next year. Therefore 2004 will be a weak year for the company.”

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