Big Story 10

Securitas launches transformation programs, flags one-off costs

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden’s Securitas, the world’s biggest security services firm, is launching two transformation programs to modernize its IT platform, reduce costs and boost margins in North America, it said on Wednesday.

The group, which is pushing to increase its share of the electronic security services market, said it was expecting around 650 million crowns ($70.75 million) in one-off costs and investments of around 550 million in 2019-2020.

It added it would take a one-off cost of 187 million crowns in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Securitas said one of the programs will raise the operating margin in Security Services North America, which was 6.1 percent in the January-September period last year, by up to 0.5 percentage points by 2022 “everything else equal”.

It added IT costs for the group would be reduced by 300 million crowns in the same year.

Securitas - whose biggest competitor is Britain’s G4S - also said it would look at further actions similar to the North American business transformation initiative.

“Our focus is on our European operations to assess the feasibility of such an initiative and the business case and we expect to provide further information in the second half of the year,” it said in a statement.

Securitas is due to report fourth-quarter results on Thursday.

Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; Editing by Kirsten Donovan