Swedish security giant credits terror risk, refugee crisis for profits jump

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Securitas says influx of asylum seekers has helped drive profits spike in France, Belgium, Germany and Sweden

Swedish giant Securitas is one of the biggest private security firms in Turkey, employing over 9,000 people (AFP)
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Wednesday 10 February 2016 8:36 UTC
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Sweden's Securitas, the European leader in security services, reported on Tuesday a sharp rise in profits for 2015, attributing the success to an increased threat of militant violence and the European migrant crisis.

Net profit for the full year rose by 18 percent to 2.44 billion krona ($288 million), or eight percent excluding currency effects.

The company’s sales climbed by 15 percent to 80.8 billion krona or $9.59 billion.

In Europe, sales rose by eight percent to 37.5 billion for 2015 and by 11 percent in the fourth quarter, bolstered by the 13 November attacks in Paris and the arrival of hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers in Europe.

"The increased need for security services due to terrorism alerts and the refugee situation has impacted organic sales growth in primarily France, Belgium, Germany and Sweden," the group said in its earnings report.

Events in Turkey, a country that suffered a number of militant attacks last year, as well as the end of a ceasefire between state security forces and Kurdish rebels, also contributed to the strong earnings.

Securitas has become one of the biggest private security companies in Turkey since entering the market in 2006 and employs some 9,500 people in the country.

Despite the profit rises, however, Securitas' operating margin remained under pressure, at 5.1 percent in 2015 compared to 5.0 percent a year earlier, owing to rising labour costs in Sweden and operational spending.