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Veritas earns record profits

Det Norske Veritas, the major international classification society based outside Oslo, logged operating profits of NOK 598 million in 2001, nearly triple the NOK 181 million earned the year before. Pre-tax earnings quadrupled.

A larger portion of the world's merchant fleet is registered in Veritas than ever before. DNV also is the world leader in environmental certification, according to top executive Helge Midttun.

After-tax profits at DNV rose to NOK 324 million (about USD 36 million), from NOK 54 million in 2000, even though returns on financial investments were weak in line with declining markets.

But nearly 16 percent of the world's merchant fleet is classified by DNV and that makes for a lucrative inspection business. DNV also plans to invest up to NOK 500 million in new business areas over the next three years.