•      Pre-tax profit SEK 634m (1,926 incl. exit gain Scandic)
  •      Strong earnings development in underlying portfolio
  •      Proposed dividend SEK 6.75 per share (6.25)
  •      Total return on Ratos shares +8%, positive for fourth consecutive year
Important events
Ratos effected five exits during the year with a good overall result. The holdings in Hilton Group, Esselte, Exceed and Kronans Droghandel were sold for a combined sales amount of approximately SEK1,750m. In addition, Industri Kapital completed three IPOs which made a positive contribution to Ratos's earnings. Follow-on investments were made in Superfos, in conjunction with the acquisition of its competitor Jotipac, and in Arcorus where Ratos bought out some ten owners thereby increasing its holding from 49% to 77%. No new acquisitions were made during the year.
In July, a total of SEK 3,105m was paid to the owners in Overseas Telecom (formerly Telia Overseas) following an earlier decision to reduce the company's share capital. For Ratos, which owns approximately 9% of the capital, this payment amounted to SEK 264m.
At year-end 2002, a new capital structure was created in Dahl. Refinancing of owners' holdings in Dahl released a total of SEK 2.1 billion. In February 2003, Ratos received a cash payment of SEK 928m while retaining the same ownership stake in Dahl. This refinancing was made possible by the highly positive development of Dahl's operations and cash flow over the past four years.
The focus during the year was on development of the holdings. A number of action programmes were initiated and both organic and structural acquisitions were made in the holdings. In the underlying portfolio at year-end, the aggregated pre-tax profit in the holdings increased by 56% compared with the previous year. Taking Ratos's holdings in the companies into account, the increase corresponded to 69%. New CEOs have been appointed in eight of the holdings.
Ratos shares provided a positive total return for the fourth consecutive year. The total return on Ratos B shares was +8% compared with the SIX Return Index which developed by -36% in the same period.