Unrelenting cost pressure could force move
It was in a third-quarter, 2017, earnings report that first revealed signs that chief exec Hallvard Muri and the AKVA Group had begun the process of strategically evaluating its Icelandic technology business, Wise.
The western-Norwegian software subsidiary’s margins “continued to be lower than in the previous year primarily due to cost pressures in the Icelandic business”, the quarterly report said.
It also reported AKVA Group’s start to a “strategic evaluation of Wise in order to realise its commercial potential going forward”.
By the third quarter of 2017, the software division had a net profit of 9.4 million kroner (EUR 9.8 million) compared to 10.6 million kroner (EUR 1.1 million) for the year-ago period. Turnover had, however, increased in the period — from NOK 100.8 million (EUR 10.5 million) to 119.5 million kroner (EUR 12.4 million) — a sign of lower margins.
Now, a sale of the Icelandic operation looks to be in the offing. After the Oslo Stock Exchange’s closing on Friday, the equipment maker informed shareholders that the parent company’s evaluation “could lead to a sale of the company, but no conclusions have been made”.