Securitas sets sales target for tech and solutions unit, shares fall
OSLO, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Sweden's Securitas (SECUb.ST) said on Wednesday it aims to increase the sales of its key technology and solutions business by 8-10% per year following the recent acquisition of Stanley Black & Decker's (SWK.N) electronic security unit.
The company did not set a company-wide growth target, however, as some analysts had expected, and its shares fell 5.1% to 95.8 Swedish crowns by 1253 GMT.
"Given that it is not combined with a group target including the traditional manned guarding operation ... it's a little harder to make into a group forecast for comparison," DNB Markets analyst Karl-Johan Bonnevier said of the sales goal for the technology and solutions unit.
The world's biggest-listed security services provider, which employs some 345,000 people, has for years sought to boost electronic security services as a share of sales and reduce its relative exposure to low-margin, staff-intensive guarding.
The company on Wednesday also said it will aim for a group-wide operating profit margin before amortisation of 8% by year-end 2025, with a long-term ambition of 10%, up from 5.6% last year thanks to cost cuts, increased market share and divestment.
"This case will be all about the execution with the stars aligning in 2024 and onwards," said Bonnevier, who holds a buy recommendation on the Securitas stock and believes it can rise to 180 crowns.
Securitas in July bought Stanley Security for $3.2 billion in its biggest acquisition to date, bringing back activities it had floated as a standalone business in 2006 and which was bought by Black & Decker in 2011.
"By joining forces we are creating a strong global tech platform that will future proof the business for next-generation security solutions," Securitas said in a statement accompanying its new targets.
While technology and solutions made up 31% of the company's sales in 2021, it could potentially expand to around 40% in 2026, according to a presentation released by the company, while its share of operating profit could rise to two-thirds from 50%.
The estimates were, however, for "illustrative" purposes only, the company said.
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