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Terror fears secure profit for Sweden's Securitas

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Police at Stockholm central station after Sweden raised its terror threat alert. Photo: Yvonne Åsell/SvD/TT
14:33 CET+01:00
Sweden's Securitas, the European leader in security services, has reported a sharp rise in profits for 2015 amid an increased threat of terrorism and the continent's refugee crisis.

Net profit for the full year rose by 18 percent to 2.44 billion kronor ($288 million), or eight percent excluding currency effects. Sales climbed by 15 percent to 80.8 billion kronor.

In Europe, sales rose by eight percent to 37.5 billion for 2015 and by 11 percent in the fourth quarter, bolstered by the November 13th attacks in Paris, the arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants in Europe, and Sweden raising its terror level alert to record levels in November.

"The increased need for security services due to terrorism alerts and the refugee situation has impacted organic sales growth in primarily France, Belgium, Germany and Sweden," the group said in its earnings report.

Events in Turkey, a country which has welcomed around two million Syrian refugees on its soil and saw a number of terrorist attacks last year, also contributed to the strong earnings.

However, Securitas' operating margin remained under pressure, at 5.1 percent in 2015 compared to five percent a year earlier, owing to rising labour costs in Sweden and operational spending.

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In North America, Securitas posted sales of 31.1 billion kronor, a rise of 24 percent, which exceeded market expectations.

At 1pm, the Securitas share price was down by 7.0 in an overall market down by 0.5 percent, with fourth quarter earnings coming in below analysts' forecasts.

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