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Sweden's Saab soars as cost-cuts boost profits

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Sweden's Saab soars as cost-cuts boost profits
File photo: TT
14:58 CEST+02:00
Swedish defence and security group Saab posted a substantial growth in profit on Friday on the back of an aggressive programme of cost-cutting.

Net profit between April and June soared to 232 million kronor (€25 million, $34 million) from 2.0 million kronor a year earlier, while revenue fell slightly to 5.692 billion kronor from 5.886 billion kronor in the same period of 2013.

"The security and defence market remains challenging and competition is fierce," chief executive Haakan Buskhe said in a statement.

The group celebrated continued global interest in its flagship product, the Gripen fighter jet.

"The interest for Gripen remains strong internationally," Buskhe said.

"The development of Gripen E progresses according to time plan and budget and will be delivered to Sweden, starting 2018."

Last December, when Saab secured a contract to supply the Gripen fighter jets to Brazil, its shared soared by more than 20 percent.

The group said that negotiations with Brazil continued and that "both parties' ambition is to reach an agreement in 2014".

Last year, the firm unveiled a cost-cutting plan to boost its profits.

So far, 850 staff and external consultants have been laid off, according to Saab.

In June, the group reached an agreement to buy a submarine shipyard in Sweden owned by the German group ThyssenKrupp.

The acquisition of the subsidiary, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, "makes Saab one of few companies in the world with the ability to develop, produce and deliver comprehensive defence solutions for air, land and sea", Buskhe said.

In 2014, Saab expects sales to remain at the same level as 2013, with an operating margin slightly superior to that of last year.

Its shares were down by 1.35 percent in the Stockholm stock exchange in early afternoon trading however, while the main index was 0.56 percent higher.

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