Investor Slides to Net Loss, Raises Dividend

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Investor AB (INVE-B.SK) said Tuesday that it slid to a hefty fourth-quarter net loss after booking a near-1 billion Swedish kronor ($125 million) write-down in one of its holdings.

Investor said it had a net loss of SEK1.01 billion during the period compared with a profit of SEK9.18 billion a year earlier.

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The profitability of Aleris, a Scandinavian private health-care business, has fallen sharply on the back of restructuring initiatives. Investor said Tuesday that actions to improve stability and profitability have been intensified, but these measures, in combination with some profitable contracts coming under pressure, will hinder profitability in the short to medium-term.

"While our view of the long-term potential remains unchanged, given the current challenges, we have impaired the reported value of Aleris," Investor said.

The company said cash flow in 2017 remained solid, driven in part by dividends received from its listed core investments.

The board is proposing an increased dividend of SEK12 a share compared with SEK11 last year, to be paid out in two installments for the first time. It said SEK8 a share will be paid in May and SEK4 a share in November.

The net asset value of Investor's investment portfolio at the end of the fourth quarter rose to SEK440 from SEK393 a year earlier, it said.

Investor is the investment vehicle of Sweden's prominent Wallenberg family and owns stakes in some of the country's largest companies, including telecommunications company Ericsson AB (ERIC), industrial-equipment maker Atlas Copco AB (ATCO-A.SK) and lender Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB-A.SK).

Write to Dominic Chopping at dominic.chopping@wsj.com; Twitter: @domchopping @WSJNordics

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 23, 2018 03:39 ET (08:39 GMT)

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