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The year 2012 was difficult, Securitas admits in its annual report.
The company’s CEO Alf Göransson said: “We entered the year with confident strides, but we faced a difficult first six months of the year, largely due to weak development in certain areas of the US operations and deteriorating market conditions, particularly in Spain. During the second half of the year we implemented an extensive restructuring program and we are now facing the future as a much stronger company.”
He stressed that the company sought to ‘move up the value chain, from traditional guarding to complete security solutions’. He added: “The key is finding the right balance between what should be done by security officers on site and what can be done by specially trained security officers from a monitoring centre, and to what extent security officers or technological solutions should be used. Security companies that do not have the ability, knowledge and ambition to solve this equation will not survive in the tough competition in an industry that is strongly characterised by low value creation and high price transparency.”
The firm last year, with an eye to remote alarm and CCTV monitoring and video analysis, set up a ‘global competence centre’ in the Swedish city of Malmö. As for acquisitions, Securitas in the UK having absorbed the guarding arms of Chubb Perosnnel and Reliance Security, the CEO said the firm ‘will continue to be restrictive’.
The global security market grew by 5 percent in 2012. In Europe and North America, where Securitas has about 95 percent of its sales, the market growth was more or less flat. The macroeconomic health will probably not improve noticeably in the coming year, and the indication rather seems to be that we should assume that the problems in some countries will persist and additional complications may arise. The multi-national saw a 17 per cent sales fall in Spain and 12 per cent in Portugal. Despite that, Security Services Europe recovered in 2012 from a weak 2011, according to Göransson; and grew by one per cent.
The multi-national operates in North America, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The organisation is flat and decentralised. In 2012, there were four business segments: Security Services North America, Security Services Europe, Mobile and Monitoring, and Security Services Ibero-America. As of 2013, Mobile and Monitoring is included in Security Services Europe.
Security Services Europe provides security services in 27 countries with about 110 000 employees and 700 branch managers. In total, Securitas employs more than 300 000 people in 52 countries. Europe makes up 41 per cent of the overall company sales.