2013 – Good results despite challenging business climate

The Axel Johnson group developed well during 2013 despite the weak economic situation particularly at the start of the year. Four out of seven group companies reported improved earnings compared with the previous year, with Novax and Axfood achieving their best-ever results. Taken overall, Axel Johnson reported its highest earnings in the company’s history. 

Consolidated total sales amounted to SEK 64,573 million (62,638), an increase of 3 percent. Profit after net financial items amounted to SEK 1,821 million (1,623), an increase of 12 percent. Consolidated operating profit, excluding amortization of intangible assets, amounted to SEK 2,411 million (2,269).

As in 2013, mixed market conditions are expected in 2014 with continued economic uncertainty in our business environment. At Axel Johnson we will put effort into what we ourselves can influence in order to give our customers the best possible experiences. Efforts to increase the services and service content in our offering continue, at the same time as we must be quick to pick up the trends that affect our businesses. This means among other things that we will take advantage of the developments in online retailing and digital development. We will also continue to place a major focus on our overall transformation to an even more sustainable business. One example is Axelerate which was launched in the autumn, a unique effort designed to increase diversity in leading positions throughout the entire Axel Johnson group.

Stockholm, 5 March 2014

Fredrik Persson, President and CEO

Highlights in group companies 2013                                                                                                                                                          

  • Axel Johnson International completed three acquisitions during the year, which among other things helped to strengthen the company’s position as a leading supplier of industrial pumps and accessories in Europe.
  • Axfood successfully implemented the new business system within Dagab and extensive new initiatives were taken in digital customer programs in Willys and Hemköp.
  • In Axstores, Åhléns launched its new café concept, Café Å Lait, and Kicks increased its own brand sales after several successful product launches. Lagerhaus established four stores in Japan via shops-in-shops in cooperation with APITA.
  • Martin & Servera increased its sales and gained market shares. During the autumn Håkan Åkerström took over as CEO succeeding Christer Lind who has retired.
  • Mekonomen Group worked to improve the efficiency of its processes and routines during the year. A purchasing cooperation was initiated with the Polish company InterCars and the company’s own brands ProMeister and CarWise were launched.
  • Novax acquired 33 percent of the shares in Concept Motion, a leading supplier of training equipment, and 18 percent of the shares in the digital education company Hyper Island. The holding in Trygga Hem of just over 9 percent was divested.
  • Svensk Bevakningstjänst succeeded in increasing sales volumes to new customers by approximately 12 percent despite tough market conditions with intense price pressure.

Consolidated sales and earnings                   

Group company Holding Net sales (SEKm) Profit after financial items (SEKm)
    2012 2013 2012 2013
Axel Johnson International 100% 6 177 5 908 277 241
Axfood ca. 50% 36 306 37 522 1 162 1 278
Axstores 100% 7 261 7 436 50 182
Martin & Servera 70% 11 331 12 102 71 161
Mekonomen Group ca. 26% 5 292 5 740 474 429
Novax 100% - - 49 73
Svensk Bevakningstjänst 100% 850 865 46 30

For more information see Axel Johnson’s Annual Report 2013 which will be published on March 25th at www.axeljohnson.se.

Axel Johnson AB is one of the Nordic region’s leading trading groups which builds and develops businesses within trade and services in the European market, with the main focus on the Nordic region. Group companies currently comprise Axel Johnson International, Axstores, Martin & Servera (70%), Novax, Svensk Bevakningstjänst as well as partly owned listed companies Axfood (c. 50%) and Mekonomen Group (c. 26%). The wholly and partly owned companies in the Axel Johnson group have total annual sales of approximately SEK 71 billion and about 22,000 employees (2013). Axel Johnson is a family-owned company in the fourth and fifth generation and is owned by Antonia Ax:son Johnson and her family. www.axeljohnson.se

The Axel Johnson AB group is one of four separate groups within the Axel Johnson Group together with the property company AxFast, the U.S. company Axel Johnson Inc. and the management company AltoCumulus.