GLOBAL SECURITY solutions provider Securitas has just issued its full financial results for 2021, with the company heralding strong margin improvement and a record-level operating result.
For the period January-December 2021, total sales were MSEK 107 700 (107 954). Organic sales growth is recorded at 4%. Operating income before amortisation stands at MSEK 5 978 (4 892). Operating margin is 5.6% (4.5). Earnings per share are SEK 8.59 (6.63).
The period from October-December 2021 realised total sales of MSEK 28 049 (26 477) and an organic sales growth of 4%. Operating income before amortisation was MSEK 1 646 (1 404) and the operating margin stood at 5.9 (5.3). Earnings per share were SEK 2.05 (1.45).
Speaking about this latest set of financials, Securitas president and CEO Magnus Ahlqvist stated: “We have recorded our highest operating margin in more than a decade. Our strategy, investments and actions are starting to pay off and resulting in increasing profitability in all business segments. Strong cash flow generation has resulted in reduced leverage and a solid financial position at year end, which is the ideal preparation for completing the Stanley Security acquisition deal.”
The Stanley Security deal will be “transformative”, according to Ahlqvist, duly positioning Securitas as a leading intelligent security solutions partner with over 50% of its profit being generated from high-margin electronic security and solutions sales going forward.
Ahlqvist continued: “We finished the year with a recorded 4% organic sales growth in the final quarter and for the full year. Conditions in the business environment improved gradually during the year, with good commercial activity across all segments. Growth was hampered in North America due to reduced Coronavirus-related extra sales and the previously announced contract losses.”
Sales of security solutions and electronic security showed real sales growth of 8% (5) in 2021, representing 22% of Group sales. “We saw improved growth in the fourth quarter despite challenges related to component shortages.”
The operating result for the Group, adjusted for changes in exchange rates, increased by 15% (4) in the fourth quarter and by 28% (-10) for the full year. The operating margin improved to 5.9% (5.3) in the quarter and to 5.6% (4.5) for 2021. “Our focus on delivering the leading client value proposition,” added Ahlqvist, “combined with a strong focus on profitability through active portfolio management strengthened all business segments. The improvement was further supported by the cost-savings programme initiated during 2020 and lower levels of provisioning compared to 2020.”
With the continued return to business as usual related to the pandemic, Government grants and support were materially reduced in the fourth quarter. The price and wage balance was successfully kept on par throughout the year.
“Going into 2022,” concluded Ahlqvist, “we are well positioned to maintain this balance. The Group delivered a strong operating cash flow, corresponding to 93% of operating income in 2021. The net debt to EBITDA ratio was 1.9 (2.1).”