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SAAB

Saab profit soars in second quarter

Swedish aviation and defence group Saab said Friday its second-quarter profit soared by 45 percent, exceeding analysts' expectations, owing to strong sales despite a plunge in orders.

For the period April-June, the group posted a net profit of 438 million kronor (47.85 million euros, 65.9 billion dollars), up from 301 million a year earlier, a Saab statement said.

Sales totalled 5.935 billion during the period, up by 15.35 percent from a year ago.

In the first six months of the year, sales reached 10.852 billion, exceeding analysts’ forecasts of 10.629 billion.

In the second quarter, the group’s operating profit rose by 55.9 percent to 630 million kronor, while operating margin climbed from 7.9 percent to 10.6 percent.

However, orders in the second quarter plunged by 74 percent to 2.954 billion from 11.431 billion a year ago, and were almost halved during the six-month period to 8.345 billion.

The group attributed the drop to Pakistan’s decision to reduce by 1.35 billion kronor an order for an airborne surveillance system.

“The first half of 2007 was a stable, forward-looking period for Saab,” group chief executive Aake Svensson said.

“Order bookings remained satisfactory, sales increased and income was stable. During the second quarter, important acquisitions were complemented by future-oriented partnerships of major significance,” he added.

For the rest of the year, the group said it expected growth in line with 2006 levels when the group posted a 12 percent rise in net profit to 1.347 billion kronor.

CARS

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court

Swedish car maker Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and the firm's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have appeared in court in Vänersborg in west Sweden, accused of falsifying financial documents shortly before the company went bankrupt in 2011.

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court
Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. Photo: Karin Olander/TT
The pair are accused of falsifying the paperwork at the height of the Swedish company's financial difficulties at the start of the decade.
 
A third person – who has not been named in the Swedish media – is accused of assisting them by issuing false invoices adding up to a total of 30 million kronor ($3.55m).
 
According to court documents, the charges relate to the firm's business in Ukraine and the paperwork in question was signed just before former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson resigned.
 
Both Jonsson and Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have admitted signing the papers but denied knowledge of the Ukranian firm implicated in the case.
 
All three suspects deny all the charges against them.
 

Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers. Photo:  Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
 
Saab filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2011, after teetering on the edge of collapse for nearly two years.
 
Chief prosecutor Olof Sahlgren told the court in Vänersborg on Wednesday that the alleged crimes took place in March 2011, when Saab was briefly owned by the Dutch company Spyker Cars.
  
It was eventually bought by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), a Chinese-owned company after hundreds of staff lost their jobs.
 
The car maker, which is based in west Sweden, has struggled to resolve serious financial difficulties by attracting new investors since the takeover.
 
In October 2014 it announced it had axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce.
 
Since 2000, Saab automobile has had no connection with the defence and aeronautics firm with the same name. It only produces one model today, the electric 9-3 Aero Sedan, mainly targeting the Chinese market.