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UNITOR REPORTS YEAR-END RESULTS, RAISES DIVIDEND 14 PERCENT

 KOLBOTN, Norway, March 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Unitor Ships Service AS today reported net income of 88.1 million Norwegian krone (NOK) ($13.8 million), or NOK 5.13 per share ($.80 per ADR), for the year ended Dec. 31, 1992, a decline from the NOK 99.7 million, or NOK 5.95 per share, in 1991, according to Karsten Houm, managing director.
 "Revenues for 1992 were NOK 1,403.4 million ($219.0 million), a comparable figure to the NOK 1,400.0 million reported in 1991. Due to an aggressive marketing effort during 1992, Unitor's market share actually increased during this period and we managed to maintain a comparable revenue level in 1992. Furthermore, our 1992 revenues are after the sale of operations at the beginning of the year that accounted for sales of approximately NOK 20 million ($3.1 million)," Houm said.
 Fourth-quarter 1992 net income was NOK 10.8 million ($1.7 million), a decline from the NOK 27.1 million reported in 1991. During the same period, revenues fell 4 percent to NOK 336.7 million ($52.6 million) from NOK 349.0 million and operating income fell 52 percent to NOK 17.1 million ($2.7 million) from NOK 35.9 million in 1991.
 The proposed dividend per share is NOK 2.0 ($.31 per ADR), a 14- percent increase from last year's NOK 1.75.
 "As has been previously discussed, Unitor was affected by the poor shipping market in 1992. Shipowners and managers reduced their purchasing budgets, and the consumption of maintenance products per ship fell by approximately 12 percent. Nevertheless, the board is pleased that during the year, Unitor managed to increase its market share and, at the same time, reduce cost levels in a falling market. Based on these considerations, the annual results for 1992 must be rated as good," Houm commented.
 Operating income for the year totaled NOK 103.1 million ($16.1 million), a decline of 33 percent from the NOK 153.1 million reported in 1991. Of this reduction, approximately NOK 14 million ($2.2 million) may be attributed to the low dollar exchange rate, while the remainder of the difference is due to cost levels which, particularly in the second half of the year, were too high in relation to the prevailing market conditions.
 "In order to create a better balance between costs and income during the second half of the year, we eliminated the equivalent of 77 staff positions. The resultant costs, totaling NOK 10 million ($1.6 million), were charged in their entirety to the 1992 accounts," Houm said.
 Income before taxes and minority interest was NOK 123.7 million ($19.3 million) as compared to NOK 145.2 million in 1991, a 15-percent decline. Total taxes were NOK 35.6 million ($5.5 million), a 22-percent decrease from NOK 45.5 million in 1991.
 For 1992, net interest and financial expenses amounted to a gain of NOK 20.6 million ($3.2 million), a significant change from the NOK 7.9 million expense in 1991, mainly due to the fact that the cash reserve was larger than interest-bearing debt. As much as NOK 27 million ($4.2 million) of financial income is a direct result of Unitor's U.S. dollar profits, which were safeguarded by hedging contracts entered into at the beginning of the year. Towards the end of the year, the dollar strengthened in relation to the Norwegian kroner and it was necessary to charge NOK 14 million ($2.2 million) in unrealized losses on hedging contracts tied to 1993.
 The group's pretax profit margin (before extraordinary items and minority interest) was 8.8 percent in 1992, a decline from the 10.4 percent recorded in 1991. Depreciation expense for the year increased 13 percent to NOK 63.9 million ($10 million) from NOK 56.5 million in 1991.
 Unitor supplies high-quality chemicals and related products and equipment to the international merchant fleet of over 23,000 vessels. It has been listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange since 1978 and its ADRs have traded on the "Pink Sheets" (Symbol: 3UNSSY) since April 1991. Each Unitor ADR is the equivalent of one Norwegian Unitor share.
 UNITOR SHIPS SERVICE AS
 Consolidated Statement of Operations
 (In millions, unaudited)
 Three months ended Dec. 31 1992 1991 Percent
 Change
 Operating revenues NOK 336.7 $52.6 NOK 349.0 -3.5
 Cost of goods 159.3 24.9 155.2 2.6
 Gross profit 177.4 27.7 193.8 -8.5
 Depreciation 20.3 3.2 18.2 11.5
 Other operating expenses 140.0 21.8 139.7 0.2
 Operating income NOK 17.1 $2.7 NOK 35.9 -52.2
 Net interest and other
 financial expenses (income) (2.2) (0.3) (3.6) nm
 Income before taxes
 and minority interest 19.3 3.0 39.5 -51.0
 Minority interest 0.0 0.0 0.0 nm
 Income after minority interest 19.3 3.0 39.5 -51.0
 Income taxes 8.5 1.3 12.4 -31.4
 Net income NOK 10.8 $1.7 NOK 27.1 -60.0
 Earnings per share NOK 0.63 $0.10 NOK 1.60 -60.5
 Weighted average number
 of shares outstanding 17.2 17.2 17.0
 Twelve months ended Dec. 31 1992 1991 Percent
 Change
 Operating revenues NOK1,403.4 $219.0 NOK1,400.0 0.2
 Cost of goods 657.2 102.5 634.5 3.6
 Gross profit 746.2 116.5 765.5 -2.5
 Depreciation 63.9 10.0 56.5 13.1
 Other operating expenses 579.2 90.4 555.9 4.2
 Operating income NOK 103.1 $16.1 NOK 153.1 -32.7
 Net interest and other
 financial expenses (income) (20.6) (3.2) 7.9 nm
 Income before taxes
 and minority interest 123.7 19.3 145.2 -14.8
 Minority interest 0.0 0.0 0.0 nm
 Income after minority interest 123.7 19.3 145.2 -14.8
 Income taxes 35.6 5.5 45.5 -21.8
 Net income NOK 88.1 $13.8 NOK 99.7 -11.6
 Earnings per share NOK 5.13 $0.80 NOK 5.95 -13.8
 Weighted average number
 of shares outstanding 17.2 17.2 16.7
 Currency exchange rate: US$1.00 equals NOK 6,407.
 -0- 3/4/93
 /CONTACT: Philip L. Thomas of P.L. Thomas Group, 312-906-8060, for Unitor Ships Service AS/
 (3UNSSY)


CO: Unitor Ships Service AS ST: IN: MAR SU: ERN

CK-OS -- NY050 -- 2985 03/04/93 12:22 EST
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Date:Mar 4, 1993
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