Saab’s profits rise

Saab AB said its full year pretax profit rose 45 percent from a year earlier to 2.45 billion kronor ($384 million), boosted by capital gains and stronger sales.

The figure includes 453 million kronor in gains from divestments, and other positive one-offs.

“We can look back at a very eventful year. 2007 was distinguished by a steady inflow of orders and continued sales growth. At the same time, the company must continue to improve efficiencies”, Saab President and CEO Åke Svensson said in a statement.

Market expectations were for a pretax profit of 2.23 billion kronor, including positive one-offs of 481 million kronor, according to SME Direkt.

Sales increased 9 percent to 23.02 billion kronor, with organic sales growth at 4 percent.

“For 2008 we expect development in line with Saab’s long-term financial objectives: 5 percent organic sales growth and an operating margin of 10 percent excluding non-recurring items,” Saab said in its year end report.

Operating margin rose to 11.3 percent from 8.3 percent a year earlier, while adjusted for one-offs it fell slightly to 9.4 percent from 10.9 percent.

The company proposed a full year dividend of 4.50 kronor a share, up from 4.25 kronor a year earlier.

Saab said it plans to cut costs by 1 billion kronor a year through 2010, with 75 percent of the savings coming from the lower cost of goods sold (purchasing, production, development and project implementation).

The company expects the plan will affect gross margins.

Additional cost savings will be generated through reduced operating expenses, mainly in administration.

The program is expected to reduce the company’s overall cost level by 250 million kronor in 2008, another 350 million kronor in 2009, and 400 million kronor in 2010.

The cost of the program is estimated at 250 million kronor.


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.