Business Brief

Eastern Baltic region expanding

Russia, Latvia and Lithuania are the fastest growing areas in the Baltic region with all three countries expecting growth rates in excess of 7 per cent this year, according to Föreningssparbanken.

The bank also forecasts GDP growth of 5.7 and 5.5 per cent respectively for Poland and Estonia this year.

“Swedish firms can benefit from the strong demand on the Russian market with its growing middle-class,” commented the bank’s analyst Cecilia Hermansson.

Burger King plans to expand in Scandinavia

Fast-food chain Burger King plans to open a record number of restaurants in Scandinavia this year and aims to double sales within six years.

“We’re operating at a profit and in the coming years we expect to open ten restaurants per year in Scandinavia, the majority of which will be in Sweden,” said Stefan Eriksson, chief executive for Burger King in Scandinavia.

People choosing to fly again

2,342,700 passengers passed through Swedish airports in August – up 4 per cent year-on-year.

Meanwhile SAS reported that the total number of passengers rose by 5.1 per cent in August year-on-year.

Plastic bags – pure profit for stores

Supermarkets and wine shops make a tidy profit for every plastic bag sold. The green plastic bag that Systembolaget sells to customers for one krona has a trade price of 25 öre. With VAT deducted, the monopoly makes a profit of 50 öre on each bag and with more than 70 million bags sold per year, makes an annual profit on bags alone of 35 million kronor.


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Corporate deals set to take off in Sweden in 2011: report

Sweden is one of the hottest markets in the Nordic region for corporate mergers and acquisitions, according to a new report.

Eight out of ten managers at large Nordic companies surveyed by business consultancy KPMG expected the M&A market in Sweden to grow in 2011.

Corporate deal growth in Sweden’s neighbours Denmark, Norway, and Finland, meanwhile, was only predicted by about 60 percent of the survey’s respondents.

The results of the survey are published as part of an annual review of M&A activity published by KPMG entitled Competing for growth 2011.

“We see that both venture capital firms and industrial firms are well positioned for even more business in 2011,” Christopher Fägerskiöld, head of M&A advising for KPMG Sweden, said in a statement.

According to Fägerskiöld, venture capital firms have had a difficult time selling their holdings during the financial crisis, leading to a pent up need to sell.

“At the same time, they need to show they can make acquisitions, not least those who plan on taking in money for new funds,” he said.

Last year, there were 158 deals in which companies from outside the Nordics bought a Nordic company, an increase of 48 percent.

“The most notable example was that Volvo Cars was sold to Chinese Geely,” said Fägerskiöld.

“It’s the first time that a privately owned Chinese company has bought a large and well-known western European company. It may very well pave the way for similar acquisitions.”

Respondents to the survey singled out China as the non-Nordic country that will likely carry out the most deals in the Nordic region in 2011, followed by Germany and the United States.

“We see a large interest from Swedish industrial companies to strengthen their position in Asia by acquisitions or cooperation with local companies,” said Fägerskiöld.

Many companies feel pressure to act so that the competition doesn’t get to China first.”