H&M deemed world class

Clothing chain H&M is one of the world’s 50 fastest growing retail giants according to accounting firm Deloitte. H&M sales have increased by just over 16 per cent per year since 1998.

“H&M’s success lies in a strong focus on clothes. Retailers who take on too many concepts have not been so successful,” explained Lars Egenäs at Deloitte in Sweden.

Insurance firms count cost of tsunami

Insurance companies are estimating costs of 500-600 million crowns as a result of the tsunami disaster in South Asia, and costs of between 3 and 4 billion crowns after the storm in southern Sweden.

Shareholders worried about Skanska

Two profit warnings in the USA and UK for a total of 1.3 billion crowns within the space of a month have got shareholders in building company Skanska worried. Despite its president, Stuart Graham, taking action by sacking the US CEO, AMF Pension, which owns 6 per cent of the shares in Skanska, is expressing concern.

Poor end to year for OMX

Stockholm Bourse owners OMX reported a weak end to 2004 with sales for the fourth quarter dropping by 7 per cent excluding figures for the purchase of Finnish stock market owners Hex. The loss before tax for the quarter amounted to 40 million crowns. But OMX has big plans for growth in 2005, particularly within the Technology division, which sells trading systems to stock markets and securities brokers.

Biotech road show in USA

Swedish biotechnical companies are on tour in the USA to pick up some business and make contacts. New York was the first port of call, with some advice from Stelios Papadopoulos of American investment bank SG Cowen.

“If the 200 Swedish biotechnical companies were consolidated into ten companies then maybe some of them would be good companies,” said Papadopoulos.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Industri


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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.”