- Total sales MSEK 25 814 (28 420)
- Organic sales growth 0 percent (2)
- Operating income before amortization MSEK 1 256 (1 086)
- Operating margin 4.9 percent (3.8)
- Items affecting comparability (IAC) MSEK –136 (–45), relating to transformation programs and the cost-savings program in the Group
- Earnings per share SEK 1.86 (1.61)
- Earnings per share, before IAC, SEK 2.11 (1.70)
- Net debt/EBITDA 2.1 (2.4)
- Cash flow from operating activities 102 percent (34)
Comments from the President and CEO
“A good start to the year while continuing the transformation journey”
A RESILIENT BUSINESS
The Group’s organic sales growth in the first quarter was 0 percent (2), with all business segments showing positive organic sales growth in the month of March. Although we are seeing signs of commercial activity picking up throughout the Group, the corona pandemic continues to hamper organic sales growth.
The airport security business remains significantly negatively impacted, primarily in Security Services Europe, but we continue to improve profitability through contract reviews.
Sales reductions in the contract portfolio, primarily related to the corona pandemic, were partly offset by the increased level of corona-related extra sales, which continued from 2020 into the first quarter.
The installation business within electronic security continued to be burdened by the corona pandemic, while the strategic acquisitions of STANLEY Security in five countries and FE Moran Security Solutions in the US con-tributed positively to both sales and profitability in the quarter with the integration work progressing accor-ding to plan. Security solutions and electronic security sales was 22 percent (22) of total Group sales in the first quarter.
The operating result for the Group, adjusted for changes in exchange rates, increased by 30 percent and the operating mar-gin was 4.9 percent (3.8) with improvements in all business segments and also supported by the cost-savings program ini-tiated during 2020.
Support from government grants relating mostly to employees on temporary unemployment continued, and total price adjustments in the Group were on par with wage cost increases in the first quarter.
Profitability improvement is a key focus area and we are thus working actively with contract portfolio mana-gement across the Group.
The Group delivered a strong cash flow, albeit at lower organic sales growth, supported by a strong focus on accounts receivable.
The corona pandemic continues to be a substantial challenge in our day-to-day operations as we close the first quarter of 2021. Our priorities remain the same since January 2020 and are to protect our people, to handle our clients’ changing needs in the most professional way possible, to control our costs and to carefully manage cash.
While there is still significant uncertainty regarding the long-term consequences of the pandemic, we are coming out stronger thanks to having taken action early. Together with a clear focus and solid finances we have strength and leverage to tackle further challenges.
COMMITTED TO TRANSFORMATION TARGETS
The business transformation program in Europe and Ibero-America that was announced in the beginning of the year is progressing according to plan, as do our other transformation programs. During the first quarter we also announced an update to our brand to reflect our transformation journey, and to support our position as the leading Intelligent Protective Services Partner.
We are confident that these programs will change the business mix and we are fully committed to achieve the related margin targets.
Securitas entered 2021 stronger and more focused, with a clear commitment to continue the transformation journey despite continued global uncertainty. The performance in the first quarter of 2021 confirms the direction and ambition for the years ahead.
President and CEO