Interim Report Jan-Sept 2001

Interim Report January-September 2001 INCREASED INVESTMENT RATE The net asset value amounted to SEK 37,50 per share (calculated net asset value SEK 38.50 per share on 24 October 2001). The parent company's profit after tax was SEK 48M for the quarter and SEK 175M for the first three quarters of 2001. Investments were SEK 139M for the quarter and SEK 534M for the first three quarters. Agreements have been made to acquire Svenska PA System, Retea and Xdin. Maintained development for the hub companies in a weakened market. Continued strong financial position provides scope for additional investments. New dividend policy - cash dividend of at least five per cent of equity carried forward. Subsequent events: Bure acquired an approximately 51 per cent holding in Denmark's largest technology consulting company, Carl Bro. Positive advance ruling in the tax dispute relating to investment company status. The National Tax Board will appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court. Parent company Results The parent company's profit after tax for the third quarter amounted to SEK 48M (609). Following the dissolution of a provision made for tax when the litigation relating to the 1994 assessment was finally settled, the profit was positively affected by SEK 37M. Profit after tax for the first three quarters was SEK 175M (2,309). Administrative costs amounted to SEK 29M (50) for the third quarter and to SEK 114M (122) for the first three quarters of 2001. Interest income and expenses amounted to SEK 18M (-8) for the third quarter and to SEK 53M (-24) for the first three quarters. Financial position On 30 September, the parent company's total assets amounted to SEK 4,297M (5,673) compared with SEK 4,690M at the start of the year. In the third quarter, total assets increased by SEK 453M, mainly due to increased borrowing against deposited funds while awaiting incoming investment undertakings. On 30 September, shareholders' equity amounted to SEK 3,453M. In the third quarter, two million of the company's own shares were synthetically repurchased, as a result of which shareholders' equity was reduced by SEK 61M. The equity ratio amounted to 80 per cent, a fall of 11 percentage points since 30 June 2001. At the period end, the positive net loan liability amounted to SEK 509M which means a reduction of SEK 313M during the quarter. At the turn of the year, the positive net loan liability amounted to SEK 1,149M. The stock portfolio, which is managed by Bure Kapital and is included in the positive net loan liability, amounted to SEK 442M. The yield was -20 per cent during the quarter compared with the index which was -17 per cent. Divestments and exit results During the third quarter, Bure made a number of divestments of minor residual assets from previous holdings. These divestments generated exit gains totalling SEK 21M of which the majority consisted of exercising options in Capio. In total, divestments of SEK 780M were implemented during the first three quarters with a total exit result of SEK 591M. In addition, all of Bure's shares in Observer were distributed to Bure's shareholders. Investments InfoMedia In July, Bure acquired the communications agency, Journalistgruppen, and the film production company, Propello. Journalistgruppen is one of Sweden's leading communications agencies which has 130 employees and reports sales of more than SEK 100M. Propello produces film for internal and external corporate communication. The company has around 20 employees and reports sales of approximately SEK 45M. Propello will be included in Bure's wholly-owned subsidiary, Stark Filmproduktion. Through the acquisitions, Bure supplements its group of companies in the business communications segment which already includes Appelberg and Stark. IT Solutions At the end of August, Bure made an agreement to acquire all the shares in Svenska PA System and Retea from TurnIT. Bure's estimated investment amounts to SEK 214M and taking over loans of SEK 150M. The deal is subject to the approval by the Swedish Competition Authority which is expected to be obtained during October. Svenska PA Group offers total solutions within the salaries and staff administration segments. The company has more than 125 employees and has operations in Sweden and Norway. Sales amount to approximately SEK 200M on an annual basis. Svenska PA Group will form the hub for continued investments by Bure within the Human Resource sector. Retea is a consulting company within data communication and telecommunications with annual sales of more than SEK 40M. In September, Bure made an agreement to acquire a 35 per cent shareholding in Xdin. The company is involved with product and process development, especially for the automotive industry, and has expanded strongly in recent years. Xdin reports sales of approximately SEK 200M and has more than 200 employees in Sweden and the USA. Funds Through the venture capital fund, Nordic Capital, Bure participates in the consortium which, together with Pharmacia, is behind the formation of the biotechnology company, Biovitrum. Bure's investment amounted to SEK 15M. In addition, Bure participated in Nordic Capital's supplementary investment in the pharmaceutical company, Nycomed Pharma. Bure's investment amounted to SEK 50M. In total, Bure's investments amounted to SEK 139M during the third quarter. The aforementioned acquisitions of Xdin, Svenska PA System and Retea are not included, as the approval by the Swedish Competition Authority has not yet been obtained. Total investments during the first three quarters of 2001 amounted to SEK 534M. Net asset value During the third quarter, Bure's net asset value fell from SEK 4,310M to SEK 3,998M. Calculated per share, it fell from SEK 40.00 to SEK 37.50. The fall is wholly attributable to the fall in value of the listed holdings. On 1 January 2001, the net asset value amounted to SEK 69.00. The indirect holding within Nordic Capital has been upvalued by SEK 182M in accordance with EVCA's principles. This is based on a transaction within Nycomed Pharma. Of the share fall of SEK 31.50 during the first three quarters, SEK 19.50 is equivalent to the cash dividend and the distribution of Observer to the shareholders. The remaining fall in value is explained by the fall in the price of the listed holdings and by revaluations and write-downs of unlisted holdings which were implemented in the second quarter. On 24 October, the calculated net asset value per share was SEK 38.50. Bure's share price On 30 September, Bure's share price was SEK 23.00 compared with SEK 31.80 on 30 June. The yield in the third quarter was, therefore, -28 per cent compared with the SAX index which fell by 17 per cent. Adjusted for the cash dividend and the distribution of Observer, valued at the price on the date of dividend, the Bure share has fallen by 17 per cent since the turn of the year. The net asset value discount, i.e. the share price compared with the net asset value, increased from 20 to 39 per cent during the quarter. On 24 October, when the share price was SEK 26.50, the discount amounted to 31 per cent. Tax matters Since the previous report, Bure has enjoyed success in two crucial tax matters. The tax authority and the National Tax Board have questioned Bure's status as an investment company relating to the 1993 financial year (1994 assessment). Bure has previously won both in the County Administrative Court and the Administrative Court of Appeal. In September 2001, the Supreme Administrative Court decided not to grant the National Tax Board leave to appeal in this dispute. The Supreme Administrative Court's decision means that the dispute has now been finally settled and that Bure, in accordance with the judgements of the County Administrative Court and the Administrative Court of Appeal, will be taxed as an investment company relating to the 1994 assessment. In its Annual Report 2000, Bure reported a contingent liability for the dispute of SEK 201M. The fact that Bure no longer has any obligation for the 1994 assessment affects profit positively by SEK 37M. 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 fulfilled the criteria to be regarded as an investment company during 1998. Should the tax authority be proved right, Bure's tax liability would be SEK 735M including interest. The amount is reported as a contingent liability. Bure, which is of the opinion that all the criteria for being regarded as an investment company have been fulfilled, appealed against the tax authority's decision and requested an advance notification for 2001. In an advance ruling on 3 October, the Office of the Council for Advance Tax Ruling confirmed that Bure can carry on asset management in its parent company, regardless of the extent of and trading frequency in its securities portfolio, without it affecting Bure's status as an investment company. The National Tax Board has appealed against the Office of the Council for Advance Tax Ruling's statement to the Supreme Administrative Court. Significant changes in ownership Since the previous report, Stena Metall has acquired shares in Bure equivalent to a total of 11.9 per cent of votes and capital at the end of the third quarter. During the third quarter, Sjätte AP-fonden increased its holding in Bure from 14.9 per cent to 16.7 per cent of votes and capital. Buy-back of shares During the third quarter, the mandate decided by the Annual General Meeting to buy back up to 10 per cent of the company's outstanding shares until the next Annual General Meeting was exercised with a buy- back of two million shares. The buy-back was made through a so-called synthetic arrangement with a Swedish bank. This means that Bure instructed the bank to acquire the shares. Bure pays interest for the bank's financing but, on the other hand, receives a yield which is linked to the shareholding. The buy-back has been reported as a liability to the bank and the counter-item has, in common with other buy-backs, reduced the non-restricted equity. When calculating key figures, the repurchased shares have reduced the number of outstanding shares. A total of three million shares have been repurchased, equivalent to three per cent of the company's outstanding shares. New dividend policy Bure is consistently involved with generating value for the shareholders and creating confidence in the company in the market. Value created under Bure's ownership is made visible, realised and accrued to the shareholders through an aggressive transfer policy and, therefore, a solid price development over a period of time. Bure's transfer policy to the shareholders is dynamic and is based on the fact that a cash dividend, distribution of assets and purchase of the company's own outstanding shares are utilised in combinations to achieve the highest possible shareholder value. In total, the transfer of value to the shareholders should be very competitive over a period of time, whereby the annual cash dividend shall amount to at least five per cent of the equity carried forward. Gothenburg, 25 October 2001 Peter Sandberg President and CEO Subsequent events In October, Bure acquired an approximately 51 per cent shareholding in Carl Bro from Unibank and a number of small shareholders. Carl Bro is the largest technology consulting company in Denmark with extensive international operations. The group has more than 2,200 employees and reported sales of approximately DKK 1,500M in 1999/2000. With Carl Bro as the hub, Bure intends to build a leading Nordic operator and play a proactive role in the reconstruction of the North European technology consulting sector. At the beginning of October, Bure acquired additional shares in Appelberg Publishing Agency, via a directed new share issue, and thus increased its holding from 25 to 34 per cent. Bure has an option to increase its ownership up to 55 per cent during 2002. This report for first three quarters of 2001 has not been the subject of examination by the company's auditors. Future reports Year-end Report 2001 20 February 2002 General Annual Meating 23 April 2002 For further information, please contact: Peter Sandberg, CEO +46 31 - 335 76 35 Benny Averpil, CFO +46 31 - 335 76 47, +46 708 - 63 54 07 Iréne Axelsson, Head of Corporate Communications +46 31 - 335 76 32, +46 706 - 32 81 83 ------------------------------------------------------------ This information was brought to you by Waymaker The following files are available for download: The full report The full report