- Pre-tax profit SEK 812m (634)
- Earnings per share SEK 7.71 (4.60)
- Total return on Ratos shares +27%
- Two new holdings: Tornet and Bluegarden
- Proposed dividend SEK 7.25 (6.75)
- Follow-on investments in Arcorus, Gadelius and Haendig
Ratos completed four exits with overall good results in 2003. The holding in Capona was sold for a total of SEK 512m. Most of the shares were purchased by Choice Hotels Sweden. The definite exit gain amounted to SEK 195m and the average annual return (IRR) was 28%. In connection with this deal, Ratos acquired 2 million shares in Choice Hotels Scandinavia for SEK 56m. Further, in November the entire holding in Hilding Anders was sold to Investcorp. The purchase price amounted to SEK 724m, the exit gain was SEK 212m and IRR is estimated at 28%.
The holding in DataVis was sold in October to the Finnish private equity company CapMan. This sale gave Ratos a small capital gain. Giga Consulting sold its operations within Windows infrastructure and project management to Martinsson. Giga is therefore no longer reported as a holding in Ratos's portfolio. Industri Kapital also carried out exits which made a positive contribution to Ratos's earnings.
Two new companies were added to the portfolio. On 20 October, Ratos together with Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partners made a recommended public offer for Fastighets AB Tornet through LRT Acquisition AB, a Swedish company owned indirectly by Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partners (60%) and Ratos (40%). The total value of the offer was SEK 4,914m corresponding to a cash payment of SEK 190 per share. Shareholders representing a total of 82.4% of the total number of shares and votes in Tornet had accepted the offer as of 6 February 2004. Under this deal Ratos has invested SEK 670m for its 40% stake in LRT Acquisition.
In December, the Norwegian company Bluegarden was acquired from Norway Post. The company is one of the five largest players in the Nordic region within support functions for human resources management. Following refinancing now in progress, Ratos's investment will amount to SEK 250m with a holding of 100%.
After the end of the period, follow-on investments were made in Arcorus, Gadelius and Haendig for a total amount of SEK 310m. As a result of these acquisitions, the companies are now wholly owned subsidiaries of Ratos. This means there are now four wholly owned subsidiaries in the portfolio.
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 and still has a 41% stake in the company. The refinancing was made possible by the highly positive development of Dahl's cash flow and operations in recent years.
During the year Ratos received an extra dividend from Arcorus of SEK 56m as well as a dividend and reduction of restricted equity from Overseas Telecom totalling SEK 56m.
LISTEN TO CEO ARNE KARLSSON'S COMMENTS ON THIS REPORT AT www.ratos.se
TELEPHONE CONFERENCE 10 a.m., tel. no. +44 (0)207 162 01 87