* Q4 EBITA 879 mln SEK vs avg analyst forecast 839 mln
* Says economic recovery not feeding through to markets
* Proposes lower-than-forecast dividend of 3.00 crowns/share
STOCKHOLM, Feb 10 Securitas, the
world's second-biggest security group, said tentative signs of
economic recovery in Europe and the United States had not fed
through to the security market, as it reported below-forecast
The main miss for the group, which trails sector leader G4S
by sales, was in a segment which includes seven
countries in Latin America, Portugal and Spain.
"Fragile signs of macroeconomic recovery in Europe and the
U.S. have not yet been reflected in security market growth,"
Chief Executive Alf Goransson said.
Securitas hires out guards and surveillance systems in 52
countries across the globe. It makes more than half of its sales
in Europe, where a sovereign debt crisis has eaten into spending
on security services.
Operating profit before amortisation rose 19 percent to 879
million Swedish crowns ($135 million) in the quarter, missing a
forecast for 907 million in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Shares in the Sweden-based group have risen about 18 percent
in the past year on recovery hopes. But while margins are
improving, they continue to be hampered by the weak security
market and slow organic sales growth.
Securitas, which according to Thomson One data had nine
"sell" recommendations on its shares against seven "holds" and
three "strong buys", said it would pay a dividend of 3.00 crowns
per share, below expectations for 3.14 crowns.
Securitas has been boosting investments in high-tech
surveillance systems such as intelligent cameras, sales of which
it aims to triple by the end of 2015 from 6 percent of sales in
2012. Such sales made up 8 percent of its total in the fourth