Interim Report January-March 2002

Interim Report January-March 2002 Bure in building and development phase * At the end of the quarter, the net asset value was SEK 38.50 - largely unchanged since the turn of the year. The net asset value discount has reduced from 22 to 16 per cent. * Acquisition of 16 per cent of the shares in Teleca implemented. * Investment in Systeam increased Bure's ownership to 48 per cent. * Continued focus on making the hub companies more efficient. * The parent company's result after tax amounted to SEK -34M. Subsequent events: The net asset value at 22 April 2002 was calculated at SEK 36.50 per share. TELEPHONE CONFERENCE ON 23 APRIL At 1pm today, 23 April 2002, a telephone conference will take place in Swedish with the President, Peter Sandberg and the Chief Financial Officer, Benny Averpil. Journalists and professionals in the capital markets are invited to take part. You can participate by telephoning +44 (0) 20 8781 0598, quoting 'Bure'. Introduction At the beginning of 2001, Bure completed a long period of building companies and creating value through a large number of exits. From a cyclical viewpoint, Bure's activities were implemented at the right time. Divestments were made at the beginning of 2001, whereas investments were implemented after the economy had weakened and the investment climate has improved. During the autumn, a significant number of companies were added to the investment portfolio, of which four are hub companies. These will develop into market leaders within their respective sector through continued investments. The development of the portfolio companies during the first quarter of 2002 was affected by the continued weak economy. Sales and results are generally lower than in the corresponding period in the previous year. It should be noted that the first quarter of 2001 was relatively strong and preceded the global downturn in, for example, the telecoms market. The beginning of 2002 has been dominated by planning activities aimed at building future value in the newly acquired holdings. The focus has also been on business development and on making the portfolio companies more efficient to position them strongly ahead of an upturn in the economy. Parent company Results and financial position The result after tax amounted to SEK -34M (438). Exit gains amounted to SEK 8M, mainly through exercising of issued warrants in Gunnebo. A write- down of SEK 10M was made in Erda. The significant difference in the result compared with the first quarter in 2001 is explained by the fact that Bure was at that time implementing sales of Dimension and Observer and that the company has now entered into a value building phase. Administrative costs amounted to SEK 31M (29), of which personnel costs amounted to SEK 15M (12). At the end of the quarter, the parent company had a net loan liability of SEK 302M and the debt ratio was 0.4, compared with SEK 91M and 0.4 respectively at the 2000 year end. The equity ratio has been unchanged since the end of 2001, i.e. 72 per cent. Divestments and exit gains No significant divestments were made during the quarter. Exercising of warrants issued to the management of Gunnebo generated an exit gain of SEK 6M. Final settlement relating to the sale of Essex, through Nordic Capital, generated an exit gain of SEK 2M. Investments During the quarter, the parent company made investments and supplementary investments totalling SEK 162M. At the end of January, Bure acquired 16 per cent of the capital and 16.8 per cent of the votes of the merged Teleca/AU-System, after Teleca's public offer to the shareholders in AU-System had been accepted and implemented. The purchase price for the shares is dependent on the price development in Teleca over 24 months. The purchase price could amount to SEK 375M minimum and SEK 585M maximum. However, the investment in the parent company will be lower, as the acquisition is financed by loans via a subsidiary, and currently amounts to SEK 75M. Through the acquisition, Bure is taking part in building one of the leading companies in Europe within the segment for advanced services for software product development. The newly-formed group has a very strong position in an international market that is facing growth and consolidation. In March, Bure exercised its option to acquire an additional 18 per cent of the shares of Systeam. As a result, Bure's holding amounts to 48 per cent of votes and capital. In addition, Bure has made an option agreement to acquire a further three per cent of the shares of Systeam. Systeam is established in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. Bure's supplementary investment is aimed at securing a continued active acquisition and growth strategy in the company. The intention is to build a leading consulting company in administrative IT services in the Nordic countries. Net asset value At the quarter end, the net asset value amounted to SEK 38.50 per share or SEK 4,062M in total. It has remained largely unchanged since the 2001 year end. The change in net asset value is attributable to Bure's listed holdings. During the quarter, the holding in Scribona increased in value by SEK 144M. At the same time, the market value of the holding in Dimension reduced by SEK 29M as a result of the general downturn in the stock market. On 31 March, the market value of the stock portfolio, which is owned through a subsidiary, was SEK 560M, compared with SEK 592M at the turn of the year. Net asset value at the 2001 year end (SEK/share): 38.00 Change in value of listed shares 0.75 Change in value of unlisted shares 0 Administrative costs -0.25 Net asset value at the end of the first quarter 38.50 The net asset value on 22 April 2002 was calculated at SEK 36.50 per share. Bure's share price At the end of the quarter, Bure's share price was SEK 32.50 and the market value SEK 3,438M compared with SEK 29.70 and 3,142M, respectively, at the 2001 year end. The development of the share price was thus 9.4 per cent during the quarter, compared with -2.94 per cent for the SAX index. The investment company discount reduced during the quarter and amounted to 16 per cent compared with 22 per cent at the 2001 year end. On 22 April, Bure's share price was SEK 29.20 which is equivalent to a discount of 20 per cent. Tax matters The tax authority has announced that it will re-examine Bure's assessment for the 1998 and 1999 financial years. The tax authority questions if, during 1998 and 1999, Bure exclusively or almost exclusively managed securities. This is one of the criteria an investment company must fulfil. Bure is of the opinion that all the criteria for being regarded as an investment company have been fulfilled. This opinion is supported by leading tax experts. In October 2001, Bure was given further support for its opinion when the Office of the Council for Advance Tax Ruling issued a positive statement on the same matter relating to the 2001 financial year. The National Tax Board appealed against the decision to the Supreme Administrative Court. Should the tax authority be proved right, Bure's tax liability as a result of the decisions would be SEK 888M including interest on 1 January 2002. The amount is reported as a contingent liability. Annual General Meeting The Board of Directors proposes that the Annual General Meeting agrees a cash dividend of SEK 1.75 per share which is equivalent to 5.5 per cent of equity carried forward. The Board of Directors also proposes that the AGM authorises the Board, until the date of the next Annual General Meeting, to buy back up to 10 per cent of the company's own outstanding shares. Gothenburg, 23 April 2002 Peter Sandberg President and CEO ------------------------------------------------------------ This information was brought to you by Waymaker The following files are available for download: The full report The full report