Statement by the President and CEO Håkan Buskhe:
Strong orders, organic growth and continued margin improvement
During the first nine months of 2019, Saab reported a strong order intake and an organic growth of 11 per cent. The development is in line with Saab’s goals: continued sales growth and improved margins. The focus has continued to be on the implementation of Saab’s major programs. Executing them according to plan is the basis of Saab’s development, together with further investments in technology and internationalisation.
Order bookings amounted to SEK 19,093 million (17,183) in the first nine months. Several orders contributed positively to the quarter, primarily the order from Finland’s Ministry of Defence to provide and integrate combat system for Finland’s new corvettes as part of the Squadron 2020 programme. This is a major milestone for Saab as it means a reference customer in advanced combat systems, integration and sensors. Further, it is of strategic importance for Saab when other countries procure this type of advanced systems.
Small orders continued to grow compared to the third quarter of 2018. Increasing the number of small and medium-sized orders has been a goal for Saab. Market demand remains strong and going forward Saab sees good business opportunities.
Sales and operating income
Sales in the first three quarters amounted to SEK 24,855 million (22,138), corresponding to an organic growth of 11 per cent. The increase is mainly driven by business area Dynamics but also from strong development in other business areas.
Operating income amounted to SEK 1,739 million (1,142) with an operating margin of 7.0 per cent (5.2). Saab has continued to strongly focus on implementation and delivery of key milestone projects, while at the same time, it is important to efficiently develop the smaller sized and recurring businesses.
Efforts to improve efficiency and increase productivity are continuing and the measures taken are reflected in the period’s stronger operating margin compared to the third quarter of 2018. The work to adapt the product portfolio is also making progress. Digitalization and automation of operations are continuing and during the quarter several steps were taken to more efficiently manage markets and sales, such as the appointment of Chief Marketing Officer, who will become a member of the Group Management.
Operational cash flow
Operational cash flow amounted to SEK -4,356 million (-5,197) and is in line with the development previously communicated for 2019. The negative cash flow can mainly be attributed to the high level of completion of Saab’s major contracts, mainly in Aeronautics. Saab maintains its view that operational cash flow will be at a better level for the full-year 2019 than 2018, as large milestone payments are scheduled in the fourth quarter.
During the third quarter, Håkan Buskhe announced that he is stepping down as President and CEO of Saab. The Board appointed Micael Johansson as his successor, he takes over on October 23.
Outlook statement for 2019
We estimate that sales growth in 2019 will be in line with Saab’s long-term financial goal: annual organic sales growth of 5 per cent.
The operating margin in 2019, excluding material non-recurring items, is expected to improve compared to 2018, bringing Saab a step closer to its long-term financial goal: an operating margin of 10 per cent per year over a business cycle.
||Full Year 2018
|Gross margin, %
|EBITDA margin, %
|Operating income (EBIT)
|Operating margin, %
|Adjusted operating income
|Adjusted operating margin, %
|of which Parent Company’s shareholders’ interest
|Earnings per share after dilution, SEK ¹⁾
|Return on equity, % ²⁾
|Operational cash flow
|Free cash flow
|Free cash flow per share after dilution, SEK
|¹⁾ Average number of shares after dilution
|²⁾ Return on equity is measured over a rolling 12-month period.
|³⁾ EBITDA for the first nine months 2019 is effected by the implementation of IFRS 16 with additional depreciations of MSEK 293. For more information, see note 16.
Press and analyst meeting
Saab is pleased to invite press, investors and financial analysts to a press and analyst meeting where CEO Håkan Buskhe and CFO Magnus Örnberg present the Saab interim report for January-September 2019.
Date: Tuesday, 22 October at 10.00 (CET).
Address: Saab, Olof Palmes Gata 17, 5th floor, Stockholm, Sweden
The report is published at 07.30 a.m. (CET) the same day.
You are welcome to participate on site at Saab, watch the live webcast or dial in to the conference call. It is possible to post questions also over the web and conference call.
Please, dial in using one of the numbers below.
||+46 8 505 583 56
||+44 333 300 92 68
||+18 335 268 347
The interim report, the presentation material and the webcast will be available on http://www.saabgroup.com/investor-relations.
Tel: +46 8 463 02 45
For further information, please contact:
Ann Wolgers, Press Officer
+46 (0)734 18 70 52
Merton Kaplan, Head of Investor Relations
+46 (0)73 418 20 71
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Saab serves the global market with world-leading products, services and solutions within military defence and civil security. Saab has operations and employees on all continents around the world. Through innovative, collaborative and pragmatic thinking, Saab develops, adopts and improves new technology to meet customers’ changing needs.
The information is such that Saab AB is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation and the Securities Markets Act. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person set out above, on 22 October 2019 at 07.30 (CET).