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Aker Solutions Ratings Cut to Non-Investment Grade by Fitch

Dec. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Aker Solutions ASA, Norway’s biggest oil-platform maker, had its credit ratings cut by one notch to non-investment grade by Fitch Ratings Ltd.

Fitch lowered the company’s long-term issuer default and senior unsecured ratings to BB+ from BBB- and said the outlook is stable, according to a statement published today.

“Fitch expects that the company’s ambitious target revenue and margin growth through to 2015 may be more difficult to achieve against the backdrop of potentially vulnerable market conditions,” the ratings company said in the statement.

Aker declined 2.1 percent to 61.60 kroner by 11:33 a.m. in Oslo trading, bringing the slide this year to 29 percent.

The company maintained its five-year growth target because of a “favorable” market outlook for the oil services industry, it said Dec. 8. It expects annual revenue growth from 2011 to 2015 of 9 percent to 15 percent and also retained a goal of improving margins on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization by 3 to 4 percentage points by 2015.

“While the ratings have not factored in any further debt-funded acquisitions in 2011-13, the company would have some headroom for this at the current rating level,” Fitch said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Meera Bhatia in Oslo at mbhatia2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christian Wienberg at cwienberg@bloomberg.net

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