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INVESTOR

Sweet swansong for Wallenberg at Investor

Marcus Wallenberg could be forgiven for looking satisfied as he presented his final interim report as head of the Investor holding company.

Wallenberg, who is stepping down as president and CEO of Investor, revealed the company had made a quarterly net profit of 15.5 billion kronor, compared to 1.8 billion in the second quarter last year.

The strong figures were partly down to strong performances by AstraZeneca, Ericsson, ABB and Atlas Copco, companies in which Investor has major shareholdings.

The company had also sold shares in SEB, AstraZeneca and ABB for over three billion kronor, helping to leave Investor’s coffers looking healthy, and increasing speculation that major new deals could be on the cards.

The company’s net liabilities fell from fifteen percent to four percent over the past six months.

Investor’s venture capital firms EQT and Investor Growth Capital also contributed to the company’s strong results.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Wallenberg also said that 3G operator 3, despite current struggles to build up market share, would benefit from the 10.5 billion kronor in external financing secured. The finance enabled 3 to repay 4.2 billion kronor in loans to Investor.

“It takes time to build up a company. We take it one step at a time. I think 3 is doing a good job,” Wallenberg told Dagens Nyheter.

Wallenberg steps down on 1st September, to be replaced by current deputy CEO Börje Ekholm.

INVESTOR

Sweden Investor group posts sharp profit drop

Swedish investment giant Investor on Wednesday said its first-quarter profits slumped by a quarter, underlining Sweden's vulnerability to international instability.

Sweden Investor group posts sharp profit drop
File photo: Simon Cunningham/Flickr
 
From January to March 2014 the group – one of the largest investors in Nordic-based multinationals including Saab, Atlas Copco and Ericsson —
reported a 25 percent drop in profits from a year earlier to 12.14 billion kronor ($1.85 billion).
   
However the group's net asset value, at 227,584 billion kronor grew by 5.6 percent compared to the previous quarter.
   
Founded over a century ago by the Wallenberg family, the Investor group is often seen as a barometer for the economic health of Sweden, given the large number of indigenous companies which are partly owned by the group.
   
Among its main investments are engineering company Atlas Copco (16.8 percent share), SEB bank (20.8 percent), the Swiss-Swedish engineering and
robotics firm ABB (8.1 percent) and the white goods group Electrolux (15.5 percent).
   
Group president Börje Ekholm said in a statement that current geopolitical uncertainty "will increase the uncertainty for our export companies".
   
The groups shares were down 0.7 percent in late afternoon trading on the Stockholm Stock Exchange in an overall market down 1.2 percent.
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