Sweco AB (publ) Year-end report 2018
Ending the best year so far
October – December 2018
- Net sales increased to SEK 5,112 million (4,582)
- EBITA increased to SEK 494 million (448), margin 9.7 per cent (9.8)
- EBIT increased to SEK 476 million (431), margin 9.3 per cent (9.4)
- Profit after tax decreased to SEK 459 million (480), corresponding to SEK 3.90 per share (4.02)
January – December 2018
- Net sales increased to SEK 18,735 million (16,887)
- EBITA increased to SEK 1,631 million (1,492), margin 8.7 per cent (8.8)
- EBIT increased to SEK 1,554 million (1,425), margin 8.3 per cent (8.4)
- Net debt increased to SEK 1,944 million (1,698)
- Net debt/EBITDA amounted to 1.0 times (1.0)
- Profit after tax increased to SEK 1,254 million (1,223), corresponding to SEK 10.58 per share (10.23)
- The Board of Directors proposes a dividend distribution of SEK 5.50 per share (5.00)
Comments from President and CEO Åsa Bergman:
Sweco concludes a record year with the best fourth quarter so far. During the quarter, EBITA increased SEK 54 million and organic growth amounted to 6 per cent, adjusted for calendar effects. Positive fee development, lower project adjustments and increased number of employees, supported by solid order backlog, were the main drivers of increased EBITA.
Norway, Finland, Denmark and the Netherlands were the Business Areas contributing most to the EBITA improvement during the quarter. Denmark and the Netherlands combined more than doubled their contribution to group EBITA, for both the quarter and the full year. Due to the positive development in the Netherlands, Sweco has recognised the remaining tax value of historical losses in Grontmij. As a result, a one-off tax asset of SEK 60 million had a positive impact on profit after tax during the quarter. With a strong financial position, solid increase in earnings per share and a positive outlook for Sweco’s business, the Board of Directors propose to increase the dividend to SEK 5.50 per share.
As of January, Sweco has adjusted the Business Area structure to reflect its Northern Europe strategy. The adjusted structure emphasises the focus on Germany, the UK and Belgium, alongside Sweco’s five other key countries. We will continue to strengthen our leadership through acquisitions and organic growth in Northern Europe. Our focus remains on customers, internal efficiency and having the best people in the business.
Overall, the market for Sweco’s services remains good, with variations between countries and segments. Essentially all Business Areas are experiencing a good market for Sweco’s services in the infrastructure, water and industry segments. Demand for services in the real estate segment remains good in most countries, except for the UK and residential construction in the Nordics, where demand has slowed down.