31 July 1995 00:00 [Source: ICB]
NORSK HYDRO'S petrochemicals and agriculture businesses showed improved results in Q2 1995, in a period which saw an 86% rise in net profit over the same period in 1994, to NKr1.95bn ($311m). Total sales were NKr20.34bn.
In anticipation of good results for the group, share prices reached an all-time high on the Oslo stock exchange of NKr290.50/share on 13 July. In London, the share price rose to a high of £29.19/share ($46.57/share) on the same day, before ending at £29.16.
Petrochemicals operating profit rose from NKr172m in Q2 1994, to NKr353m in Q2 1995. However, this marks a 10% drop from Q1 1995's level of NKr392m.
Year-on-year improvement was the result of good prices and was achieved despite a maintenance shutdown at Hydro's VCM plant at Rafnes, Norway.
Planned maintenance shutdowns by several producers led to a global shortage of VCM and increasing prices during the first part of Q2, especially in Asia.
But since then prices have fallen in Asia, partly because of tougher import controls in China but have been more stable in Europe.
The agriculture division saw operating profits of NKr798m, an increase of almost 50% on Q2 1994. Hydro said fertiliser prices in Q2 1995 were higher than in the same period last year, due to increased global demand and a better market balance in Europe.
Hydro president and ceo Egil Myklebust said Hydro's non-oil segments had benefited from market conditions and the group's results for Q2 were on the same level as the first quarter, if adjusted for extraordinary effects.
A major item was NKr755m to cover a 40% reduction in estimates of recoverable reserves at the Lille-Frig North Sea gas field. Hydro owns 33% of the field.
The light metals division's improved results were due to the 'higher prices of primary metal', Hydro said.
Group results for H1 1995 showed net profit of NKr4.111bn ($642.9m), compared to NKr1.799bn and operating profit totalling NKr5.961bn compared to NKr3.452bn in H1 1994.
|Norsk Hydro Q2 1995 results, NKrm|
|Change, %*||Op profit||Change, %*|
|Oil and gas||3148||1.5||310||+|
|Total #||20 342||13.5||2405||26|
* compared to Q2 1994
+ 1994 results of NKr881m and 13m respectively
# Totals include intersegment sales
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