Ekornes’s operating revenues fell by 4.6 per cent in the first half year. However, record order receipts in July give grounds for optimism, and no staffing reductions are planned over and above that which occurs naturally.
Ekornes generated gross operating revenues of NOK 1,433 in the first half of 2011. Operating profit in the first half totalled NOK 204 million, compared with NOK 283 million in the first half of 2010.
The weaker half-year figures derive primarily from the second quarter. Gross operating revenues in the second quarter last year totalled NOK 717 million, compared with NOK 650 million in the second quarter this year. Operating profit in the second quarter last year came to NOK 136 million, while this year’s second-quarter figure was almost halved, ending the period at NOK 70 million. Order receipts in the first half year were 3.5 per cent lower than in the first half last year. Here, too, the decrease came largely in the second quarter.
“Our second-quarter results were far from satisfactory. But that is behind us now, and our efforts will be devoted to improving our performance in the time ahead,” says Mr Tørlen, who can also point to several positive signals. “Order receipts in July were 11 per cent up on July last year. In fact they were the highest for any July ever. These powerful fluctuations reflect the deep uncertainty that currently prevails in the markets.”