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Securitas saw no organic sales growth in 2012, according to its report for the year. That was due to weak market conditions in many markets and negative organic sales growth in France, Portugal and Spain, according to the multi-national security company’s President and Chief Executive Officer Alf Göransson. The company last autumn went through cost savings in North America, Europe and Spain, ‘in all material aspects finalised’ in December according to Göransson.
He said: “The operating margin in Security Services North America and Security Services Europe has gradually improved during the year, even though Security Services Europe and Mobile and Monitoring in the fourth quarter were impacted by items which can be categorised as one-off adjustments. In addition, the major restructuring and cost savings programme that was executed at high speed from mid October until mid December impacted the performance negatively.
“The slowdown in organic and acquired sales growth has, combined with strong focus on cash flow and receivables, contributed to the strong free cash flow of MSEK 2 086 in the Group in 2012. This has resulted in a free cash flow to net debt ratio of 0.21, thereby we have achieved our financial target of at least 0.20.
“We continue to increase our investments in resources within technology and security solutions, and in 2012 the sales of technology and security solutions represented approximately 6 percent of Group sales. We have set a target to triple this share of sales, which I consider achievable by the end of 2015.”