Expansion in Europe
Securitas took its first step outwards into Europe as early as 1989 when it acquired a guarding company in Portugal. At that time, the Securitas Model had already proved successful in the Nordic operations.
During the period 1992–98, a series of acquisitions were made in Spain, Germany, France, Great Britain, Austria and Switzerland. The main acquisitions were Esabe in Spain, Proteg in France and DSW and Raab Karcher in Germany.
These acquisitions had a combined sales volume of around MSEK 8,000 and were strategic establishments in the company's ambition to achieve market leadership in Europe. Securitas was now active in the major European countries, with an emphasis on guarding operations, although alarms and cash handling were also important businesses established through the many acquisitions.
The organization was country-based, with a common management and organization for all business areas. Each country was organized in a strongly decentralized structure of local branch offices, sited close to the customers and having their own responsibility for profit and staffing. During this phase, Securitas became a European market leader in security.
Over the period 1992–98 the Group's total sales more than trebled, including the distribution of Assa Abloy in 1994. The organic sales growth averaged 5 percent, with improved operating margins. Free cash flow averaged 80 percent of adjusted income and return on total capital employed averaged 26 percent.