12 February 2010 17:05 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Shares of chemical shipping giant Odfjell jumped almost 8% on Friday following a Norwegian court ruling in favour of shippers who disputed $3.8bn (€2.8bn) in back taxes on their profits.
The court's verdict, by six of 11 judges, found a retroactive tonnage tax imposed by the government on shippers to be unconstitutional, according to Odfjell.
"In an industry hard pressed by recessionary times, this was most welcome news", Odfjell said in a statement.
Norway-based Odfjell's shares rose to a high of Norwegian kroners (NKr) 55 on the Oslo Stock Exchange following a Thursday close of 51 Nkr.
The government's tax scheme, presented in 2007, aimed to put Norway on the same keel as tonnage taxes in countries of the European Union, of which Norway is not a member.
The tax, which affected Odfjell and 54 Norwegian-flagged shippers, would have been retroactive for the years 1996-2006.
Odfjell said the ruling meant a $110m tax boost for the company, bringing a refund of $26.5m already paid to tax authorities and lifting an $83.5m debt on its balance sheet.
($1 = €0.73)
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