Falling return on equity
Operating profit for non-financial limited companies rose in 2008, but net financial items fell substantially. Therefore, despite a rising operating profit margin, return on equity decreased from 18.4 per cent in 2007 to 8.1 per cent in 2008.
According to preliminary figures, non-financial limited companies had NOK 602 billion in operating profit in 2008. The operating profit margin went up from 13.7 per cent in 2007 to 15.2 per cent in 2008. The increasing profitability in the operation was however counteracted by a strong increase in financial expenses. Substantial write-down of financial assets and foreign currency losses resulted in a total deficit of NOK 43 billion in financial items. Operating result before tax was thus NOK 559 billion. Return on equity fell from 18.4 per cent in 2007 to 8.1 per cent in 2008; which is the lowest since 2002.
Downturn hits mainland Norway
Petroleum activities and ocean transport counted for 29 per cent of total operating income for non-financial companies in 2008, but contributed 70 per cent of operating profit and 72 per cent of operating result before tax. Operating result before tax for mainland Norway went down by nearly NOK 350 billion from 2007 to 2008. In petroleum activities and ocean transport, operating profit before tax went up by over NOK 70 billion. Return on equity decreased from 18.3 per cent to 4.7 per cent in mainland Norway, while it remained at about 18 per cent in petroleum activities and ocean transport.
About the statistical basis
The statistics for 2008 are based on information from a total of 170 988 non-financial limited companies. The information is obtained from the Register of Company Accounts in Brønnøysund.
Only non-financial companies that have submitted their accounts to the Register of Company Accounts are included in the statistics. The statistics do not cover financial sector companies engaged in financial activities and other financial services (commercial banks, savings banks, finance companies and other financial enterprises). Accounts containing serious errors or shortcomings in the income statement or balance sheet are excluded. Accounts for companies that are in the process of closing down are excluded, since these accounts have not been prepared using the going concern assumption.
The statistics is published with Accounting statistics for non-financial limited companies.
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