23 Oct 2008

Norske Skog's accounts for the third quarter of 2008

The announcement of Norske Skog's accounts for the third quarter of 2008 will take place on Thursday, 6 November at 0800 CET. There will be a presentation with webcast at the company's premises at 1300 CET on the same date. More information about this event will be published on Norske Skog's website www.norskeskog.com.
 
The "silent period" in advance of the announcement will start on Friday, 24 October.
 
Gross operating earnings before and after depreciation ("Clean EBITDA/Clean EBIT")
Losses in the third quarter from sold units have been excluded from these income items and instead included in a separate line "Loss from discontinued operations".  Previous quarters have, in accordance with regulations, not been re-stated.
The result for South America includes the recognition of a refund of value added tax of NOK 37 million as income.
 
Special items not included in the gross operating earnings before and after depreciation
A gain from the sale of properties of about NOK 40 million has been included under the income item "Other gains and losses" (included in the operating earnings under IFRS). There are no significant changes in the value of the group's energy portfolio. The Brazilian contracts have been included in the balance sheet after various legal matters concerning surplus energy in Norske Skog Pisa have been resolved. This increases the value of the energy portfolio, but is offset by lower value for the Norwegian energy contracts.
 
Financial items and currency factors
NOK 140 million was recognized as costs in connection with interest derivates in the third quarter, with NOK 100 million having been recognized as income during the first half of 2008.  About NOK 200 million has been recognized as costs due to a weaker Norwegian currency throughout the third quarter. This applies to realised and unrealised losses from hedging of cash flow, in addition to the part of the balance sheet hedging which cannot be recorded directly against equity.
Norske Skog' s trade-weighted currency basket ("the Norske Skog index") had an average value of 81.3 in the third quarter of 2008, compared with 79.1 in the second quarter of 2008. As of 30 September 2008, the index value was 83.9 compared with 80.2 as of 30 June 2008. The index started on 1 January 2002.
 
P & L impacts from sold units
 
This includes, for all practical purposes, the mills Jeonju and Cheongwon in Korea. All result effects, in total about minus NOK 800 million, from these units have been gathered under the item "Loss from discontinued operations" in the profit and loss account. This amount is mainly accumulated translation differences which previously were booked directly against equity, but according to accounting standards shall be included in the income statement when the operations are sold. These translation differences are due to a weaker KRW against NOK over the course of Norske Skog's ownership.
The item "Loss from discontinued operations" also includes the sold units' net result after tax until closing date, and the loss from the divestment inclusive of transaction costs and tax. The sum of these elements is a small negative amount.
The translation differences of about NOK 800 million have previously been deducted from equity, meaning there is no material equity impact now from the mentioned P & L item.    
 
 
 Oxen°en, 23 October 2008
 
NORSKE SKOG
 
Investor Relations