Securitas Reports Weaker Sales in Fourth-Quarter

Securitas, the world's second-largest security company, on Friday reported weaker sales in the fourth-quarter and said it swung into loss due to higher costs.

In the three months through Dec. 31, the company posted a net loss of 549.6 million kronor ($78.64 million), down from a net profit of 754.6 million kronor a year earlier.

Revenue in the quarter was 15.2 billion kronor ($2.17 billion), down from 15.4 billion kronor in 2005.

Analysts had expected slightly higher sales in the quarter, and Securitas shares fell 1.7% to 101.75 kronor ($14.56) in Stockholm.

Securitas said it was hit by extra costs of 1.5 billion kronor ($215 million) in the quarter. In the full year, higher costs totaled 2 billion kronor ($295 million), including provisions made for disputes, rent contracts, insurance claims and moving the company headquarters.

Securitas reported a net profit of 852.6 million kronor ($122 million) in the full year, down from 2.7 billion kronor in 2005.

Securitas said it will list its cash handling business Loomis in the second half of 2007 as planned.

The Stockholm-based group employs 190,000 in more than 20 countries.