Financial report for January-September 2018 at Securitas highlights “strong market momentum”

Securitas has issued its Interim Report covering the period January to September 2018. Total sales are MSEK 74 643, with an organic sales growth of 6%. Operating income before amortisation stands at MSEK 3 829. Operating margin is 5.1%. Earnings per share are SEK 6.24. Free cash flow/net debt stands at 0.12.

“The Group continued with strong market momentum reaching organic sales growth of 6% in the first nine months, despite facing tougher comparatives in the third quarter,” said Magnus Ahlqvist, president and CEO. “We benefit from successful commercial activities in combination with excellent client retention, and we grew faster than the security market in general. We continue to drive our strategy of combining different protective services into security solutions to our customers. Security solutions and electronic security sales grew by 22% compared with the first nine months of 2017 and represented 20% of total Group sales.”

Ahlqvist continued: “The operating margin was 5.1%, with improvements in both North America and the Ibero-America region while there was a slight decline in Europe. We’ve been able to balance wage cost increases with price increases in the first nine months. We see favourable macroeconomic conditions and labour shortage becoming more prominent in many markets. This situation is creating both challenges and opportunities. Going into 2019, we’ll continue with a strong focus on balancing prices and wages and offering alternative solutions to our customers.”

The cost savings programme in Security Services Europe was initiated in the third quarter. That programme will result in improved efficiency and includes 13 countries. “Restructuring costs of MSEK 268 were recognised in the third quarter of this year as an item affecting comparability,” highlighted Ahlqvist. “The payback period is about two years. Some savings will start to be realised during the fourth quarter, but mostly during 2019.”

Magnus Ahlqvist

Magnus Ahlqvist

In addition, Ahlqvist observed: “Earnings per share, adjusted for changes in exchange rates and items affecting comparability, improved by 14%. This growth is based on our strategic and commercial development and positively impacted by the US tax reform.”

During the investor update that took place in Stockholm last month, Ahlqvist had the opportunity to share his views on the industry, the company’s current situation and the journey ahead. “Security is a good industry to be in and Securitas has a leading position in the market,” enthused Ahlqvist. “We have demanding and loyal customers who believe in our direction and we’re in a good position to create enhanced value for those customers and drive profitable growth. We’re determined to deliver on our Vision 2020 strategy and lead the transformation of the global security industry. With intelligent security, we will be able to further enhance value for our customers through better security solutions. We’ll continue to invest and restructure in order to drive digitisation and modernise our information systems and capabilities. These are our key focus areas as we go forward.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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