Norwegian conglomerate Orkla saw profit growth from its FMCG unit Orkla Brands accelerate during the fourth quarter of 2010, the food-to-energy group announced today (10 February).

Orkla, which also has interests in the aluminium, materials and financial sectors, said EBITA from its Orkla Brands division rose 4.1% to NOK910m (US$156.1m) during the last three months of the year.

The increase, driven mainly by the company’s Orkla Brands Nordic unit, which includes businesses from Lilleborg detergents to snack maker Chips Group, led to a 6.2% rise in full-year EBITA from the division to NOK2.97bn.

The company reported that fourth-quarter revenues from Orkla Brands increased 10.4% to NOK6.98bn. Over 2010 as a whole, revenues from Orkla Brands climbed 2.5% to NOK23.63bn.

Orkla’s group-wide fourth-quarter EBITA was up 13.9% to NOK1.32bn. Quarterly revenues for the conglomerate climbed 17.7% to NOK15.88bn.

Annual EBITA rose 30.2% to NOK3.94bn on the back of a 14.1% increase in revenues to NOK57.34bn.

However, Orkla’s group profit before tax stood at NOK20m in 2010, against NOK1.81bn in 2009, thanks to a tax charge of around NOK844m.

Orkla shares were down 1.8% at NOK51.90 at 16:56 CET

Click here for the full statement from Orkla.