Norwegian newspapers are suddenly full of stories about losses being posted by local companies in the second quarter and first half of the year. The Corona crisis is clearly being registered on lots of bottom lines.
Just a day after Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) reported enormous losses, leading salmon producer Mowi (formerly Marine Harvest), for example, reported operating results that were more than cut in half. Mowi, controlled by Norwegian shipping and fish-farming tycoon John Fredriksen, also announced it was dropping its dividend and would be cutting staff.
At investor and philanthropist Christen Sveaas’ company Kistefos, losses at its Viking Supply Ships and Western Bulk shipping company plus finance- and oil investments contributed to an overall loss of NOK 99 million after taxes, twice the level of last year, reports newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). Real estate development company Solon Eiendom also reported a sharp loss in revenues and profits, as did Avinor, the state-owned company running Norway’s airports. Even with billions of emergency state aid, Avinor suffered mightily after the Corona virus grounded most all airlines in March. The revenues they bring to the airports fell by NOK 2.7 billion after airline passenger traffic fell by 85.4 percent in the second quarter alone.
The Norwegian government, currently in the process of coming up with a state budget for 2021, is under pressure to provide more crisis funding for business and industry. Prime Minister Erna Solberg said her main goals include getting more people back to work, stimulating private business, restructuring Norway’s economy to help meet climate goals and boosting education and continuing education.