Saab profit soars

Sales at the Swedish defence and aeronautics giant Saab are up 12 percent to SEK 9.5 billion kronor, while operating income amounted to 953 million kronor, the company announced in its interim report on Friday.

Profit rose to 936 million kronor, compared to 544 million for the same period last year.

Saab President Åke Svensson said growth in the Nordic region, increased interest in its Gripen aircraft, and continued expansion in South Africa contributed to a successful second quarter for the company.

“The first half of 2006 was a very successful period for Saab,” said Svensson.

“Income was stable, order bookings were high and we completed strategic acquisitions of major importance to the future. At mid-year Saab had its largest order backlog ever.”

Svensson said the company’s forecast for the rest of 2006 remains the same and expects to see continued growth of 10 percent.