Published on February 6, 2018 at 8:01 AM CET.
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During the fourth quarter, the Group’s sales growth was 6%, coming from growth in all four Business Units of Safe Storage, Cash Management, Entrance Control and Integrated Security.
Safe Storage grew by 8% mainly driven by strong sales of SafeStore Auto and continued strong sales of ATM safes. Cash Management grew by 12% due to very strong sales of closed cash management, SafePay, and CIT solutions. Entrance Control continued to grow and increased by 3% in the fourth quarter, mainly driven by strong sales to metros, airports and public & commercial buildings. Sales in Integrated Security grew by 1% based on improved sales in the Americas.
EBITA increased in Cash Management and Entrance Control with improved operating margins and was stable in Safe Storage. Integrated Security achieved a small profit after some loss-making quarters. One of our priorities is to work with the various businesses in Integrated Security to improve performance going forward.
Free cash flow was strong in the quarter at MSEK 133 (71) of which MSEK 88 came from improved working capital which is a focus area for us.
During the quarter we have closed the divestment of our businesses in France, Belgium and Luxembourg. We have also continued to focus on our main Business Units and as a consequence of this strategic shift we have divested an Integrated Security business in the UK.
For the full year 2018 the Group’s sales growth ended at 3% with double-digit growth for Entrance Control and single-digit growth for Safe Storage and Cash Management, while Integrated Security contracted by 5%.
The EBITA for Safe Storage, Cash Management and Entrance Control improved by close to MSEK 60 while Integrated Security had a lower EBITA in 2018 due to fewer and less profitable big projects in 2018 compared to 2017. Free cash flow for the full year was MSEK 124 (-74), an improvement of MSEK 198. The working capital improved by MSEK 287 compared to last year.
With the new Business Unit focus in Gunnebo and the start of the divestments of the larger non-core businesses in 2018, we are prepared to continue driving a clear business agenda going forward which will generate profitable growth.
Henrik Lange, President and CEO