*Nettavisen* Nyheter.

Growth for Orkla in second quarter

Orkla CEO Finn Jebsen sells beer, biscuits and sweets like never before. In the second quarter he even made NOK half a million selling shares.

Bad times in Norwegian and international economy does not seem to have affected Orkla. From April to June the group profit before tax was NOK 1.7 billion. The turnover was about NOK 12 billion. Profits increased by NOK 600 million compared with the same period of time last year.

Made stacks of money selling shares

Sales of portfolio shares and settlements for previously divested companies contributed to strong cash flow in the second quarter. Jebsen & co made NOK 538 million on selling shares in the second quarter. Orkla owns shares in other companies worth NOK 12 billion and the value of their shares increased rapidly the second quarter.

The sale of Bergesen and Hafslund shares made the strongest contribution to this return.

Both the profits and the turnover are in line with analysts' expectations.

The profits in the beverage market, dominated by Carlsberg Breweries, are a little smaller than expected though.

Biscuits and Confectionery

Jebsen is most pleased with sales in the Orkla Foods division, especially in Sweden.

Orkla Brands once again delivered a good result, as the Biscuits and Confectionery businesses managed to both increase sales and cut costs. Compared with the corresponding period last year, group profit before tax rose from NOK 1.1 billion to NOK 1.7 billion.

«We have had a quarter with many satisfactory operational improvements and a strong cash flow,» says Group President and CEO Finn Jebsen.

Danish nightmare

Despite the profits, Norway's major brand enterprise has some troubles. The advertising market is still slow in Denmark and results are weak. In the second quarter Berlingske reported slightly lower operating profit than last year.

«As for the Danish advertising market, the outlook remains uncertain and we still see no clear signs of improvement. We are making every effort to further reduce operating costs in this area of the business», Jebsen said in the press release.

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