Securitas profits slashed

Swedish security services company Securitas has reported a sharp drop in second quarter pretax profit to 449 million kronor from 847 million a year earlier, hit by lower margins and by provisions of 373 million kronor for a legal dispute in Germany connected to its cash handling business during the introduction of the euro.

The result was well below average market expectations of 948 million kronor as recorded by SME Direkt. The market had expected provisions in Germany of 151 million kronor according to SME.

Sales increased 7.4 pct to 17.241 million kronor with good growth right across the company’s business divisions.

The company said it has decided to list rather than divest its Loomis Cash Handling business. The listing will take place in 2007.

It has already announced that it will list its Direct and Systems businesses.

Securitas’s chief executive of 14 years, Thomas Berglund, said he has decided to resign at the company’s AGM in April 2007. Berglund will become chairman of the board for Securitas Direct and Loomis cash Handling.

The company said it is on track to achieve ‘strong’ full year sales growth, and for pretax profit to increase in line with last year’s increase.