Interim Report Jan-March 2001

Interim Report January - March 2001 CONTINUED DIVESTMENTS GENERATED STRONG EXIT RESULTS OF SEK 569M · The net asset value amounted to SEK 68 - largely unchanged since the turn of the year - despite the significant fall on the OM Stockholm Stock Exchange. · The parent company's profit after tax amounted to SEK 438M. Provisions and write-downs were made of SEK 121M. · Successful stockmarket listing of Dimension. The market value on the date of introduction exceeded the reported net asset value by SEK 552M. · The investment capacity is very high - net loans receivable amounted to SEK 1,680M. · The proposed cash dividend and distribution of shares in Observer give Bure's shareholders SEK 1,900 in total - approximately SEK 17 per share. Subsequent events: · Chematur has been divested Group Results Consolidated profit after financial items for the first quarter amounted to SEK 448M (1,843). Parent company Results The parent company's profit after tax for the first quarter amounted to SEK 438M (1,331). During the quarter, three divestments were implemented which generated a total gain of SEK 569M (1,619). Provisions and write-downs of SEK 121M affected the quarter's profit. Administrative costs amounted to SEK 29M (37) during the quarter. The strong cash flow over the past year generated an improvement in interest income and expenses of SEK 26M to SEK 18M (-8) compared with the same quarter in the previous year. Financial position At the end of the quarter, the parent company's total assets amounted to SEK 5,083M compared with SEK 4,690M at the start of the year. At the same time, shareholders' equity increased by SEK 438M to SEK 4,748M. The equity ratio increased by one percentage point and amounted to 93 per cent. The parent company's cash position was strengthened through the divestments. The net loan receivables amounted to SEK 1,680M at the quarter end compared with SEK 1,149M at the start of the year. The majority of net loan receivables consist of interest-bearing investments which amounted to more than SEK 1,000M. The stock portfolio, which is managed by Bure Kapital, amounted to SEK 564M and fell in value by 22 per cent during the quarter. In the same period, the Affärsvärlden General Index fell by 18 per cent. Divestments and exit results Dimension was quoted on the O list of the OM Stockholm Stock Exchange on 20 February. Compared with the reported net asset value, the price paid on the listing date meant an uplift (the difference between market value and reported net asset value) on Bure's part of SEK 552M. Bure's sale of more than seven million shares to institutions in connection with the listing generated a profit of SEK 379M. After the sale, Bure owns more than 10 million shares, equivalent to 35 per cent of capital and votes in Dimension. At the quarter end, the market value of Bure's remaining holding in Dimension amounted to SEK 576M. Bure's Board of Directors proposes that the 2001 Annual General Meeting passes a resolution to distribute one share in Observer for every six shares in Bure Equity AB. To enable the distribution to be made without any tax burden on Bure's shareholders, the demand in accordance with "Lex Asea" is that all shares in Observer are distributed. To enable such distribution, Bure divested 2.9 million shares in Observer during the period which generated a profit of SEK 182M. In January 2001, the holding in Hagabadet was also divested which generated a minor book gain. Investments In February, Bure acquired 25 per cent of the shares in Appelberg Publishing Agency. Appelberg is the largest producer in Sweden of corporate and customer magazines. Bure's investment amounted to SEK 21M. Bure has an option to increase its ownership up to 55 per cent. In accordance with the agreement which was made at the end of 2000, Mercuri International Group has acquired operations in several countries in eastern Central Europe. The investment amounts to SEK 48M. During the quarter, CR&T Ventures implemented its first investments in the companies, Cobolt and Comhat, respectively. Bure's share of the investments in Cobolt amounts to SEK 4M and in Comhat to SEK 5M. InnKap 3, a new fund within Innovationskapital with a total value of EUR 132M, was started during the period. Bure Kapital's investment undertaking amounts to approximately 23 per cent of the fund's capital. Unchanged net asset value Despite the significant fall on the OM Stockholm Stock Exchange, Bure's net asset value remained largely unchanged. The net asset value per share amounted to SEK 68 both at the start and end of the quarter. At the end of the quarter, Bure's net asset value was SEK 7,449M. Bure' share price At the end of the quarter, Bure's market value was SEK 49.00 compared with SEK 51.50 at the 2000 year end. The market value thus fell by five per cent during the first quarter. This is equal to the change in investment company index. The discount increased to 28 per cent compared with 25 per cent at the start of the year. Other information In February, Scribona, in which Bure represents 51 per cent of capital and 37 per cent of votes, announced its intention to merge with PC LAN. The merger will be implemented through the acquisition by Scribona of all the outstanding shares in PC LAN via a public offer. At the end of March, Scribona had received acceptances for 95.4 per cent of the outstanding shares in PC LAN. Through the merger, the largest supplier in the Nordic countries of IT products and IT solutions will be created. The new company becomes the market leader in all geographic markets in which it is represented. Bure's ownership after the planned merger will amount to approximately 34 per cent. Tax matters With reference to the 1993 financial year (Tax 94), Bure is involved in a tax dispute regarding whether or not the Company's investment company status was complied with during that year. Bure has won both in the County Administrative Court and the Administrative Court of Appeal. The National Tax Board (RSV) has appealed against the judgement of the Administrative Court of Appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court which has not yet granted leave to appeal. Bure is reporting the dispute as a contingent liability at an estimated cost of SEK 201M including interest should Bure lose the litigation. During autumn 2000, the National Tax Board announced that it would examine the short-term securities trading in the Swedish investment companies. The tax authority, therefore, carried out a tax audit in Bure relating to the 1998 and 1999 financial years. In December 2000, the tax authority announced that it would re-examine Bure's assessment for the 1998 financial year (1999 assessment). The tax authority questions if Bure exclusively or almost exclusively managed securities during 1998. This is one of the criteria that an investment company must fulfil. Bure is of the opinion that all the criteria for being regarded as an investment company have been fulfilled and is supported in its view by leading fiscal experts. In principle, Bure has no assets other than shares. Bure's operations consist almost exclusively of managing these shares. This is carried out in accordance with the market prerequisites and demands which the shareholders are entitled to put on the company. Should the tax authority be proved right, Bure's tax liability as a result of the decision would be SEK 735M including interest. The amount is reported as a contingent liability. Bure has appealed against the tax authority's decision and has requested an advance notification for 2001. Annual General Meeting The Board of Directors proposes that the Annual General Meeting on 26 April 2001 agrees a cash dividend of SEK 3 per Bure share and that one share in Observer AB is distributed for every six shares in Bure. In addition, the Board of Directors proposes that the Annual General Meeting authorises the Board until the date of the next AGM to buy back shares on the stockmarket of up to 10 per cent of the company's outstanding shares. Gothenburg, 26 April 2001 Roger Holtback President and CEO ------------------------------------------------------------ This information was brought to you by BIT The following files are available for download: Full Report Full Report