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Securitas first quarter results

The multi-national guarding contractor Securitas has hailed its highest first quarter operating margin in more than a decade, with record levels in North America and Ibero-America, according to the company’s interim results for the first three months of 2022.

Magnus Ahlqvist, Securitas President and CEO, pictured, said that integration of the acquired Stanley Security is on track. In the company’s European arm, most countries contributed to the organic sales growth improvement, with good momentum within security solutions and electronic security, which the firm is looking to major on, as margins there are higher compared with manned guarding. The firm reported strong price increases and continued recovery after the covid pandemic, particularly in the airport security business.

The operating margin in Europe was 5.0 per cent, slightly down on 5.1pc of a year before.

Ahlqvist said: “We started the year with 4 percent organic sales growth in the first quarter, with strong organic sales growth in Europe and Ibero-America. As ­expected, organic sales growth in North America came in negative due to the previously communicated ­contract terminations and lower levels of corona-­related extra sales. The overall conditions in the business environment further normalised in the first quarter compared to the same period last year.

“Increased market activity and ­client inter­actions generated good ­momentum in the business including 9 percent sales growth of security ­solutions and ­electronic security in the Group, now representing 23 percent (22) of Group sales.

“The price and wage balance was success­fully kept on par and we are well positioned to maintain this ­balance. The operating result for the Group – ­adjusted for changes in exchange rates, increased by 8 percent (30) in the first quarter and the ­operating ­margin ­improved to 5.1 percent (4.9). Strong performance in North America and Ibero-America together with ­improving sales of security solutions and electronic security across all segments – contributed to the ­positive margin development, as did our continued high focus on profitability through active portfolio management, our transform­ation programs and general cost control. This ­enabled us to ­offset the challenges in the quarter with labor shortages in several markets and increased sickness costs in Europe. Adjusted for this impact, the underlying margin development in Europe was well ahead of last year.”

The firm does not have any business in Russia or Ukraine but has organised company-wide activ­ities to provide individual and company contributions to the Red Cross and UNHCR. Ahlqvist praised the support provided by many colleagues and their ­families in neighbouring countries to help refugees from Ukraine.


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