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Loomis Plans Europe, Latin America Growth as Profit Goals Set

Loomis AB, the armored-car unit spun off from Securitas AB, plans to expand into more eastern European countries and may add western European markets as the Swedish company strives to reach a newly set profit target.

Loomis is also considering “increasing density” in U.S. areas where Loomis is already present, as well as adding Latin American markets, Chief Executive Officer Lars Blecko said today in a phone interview from Stockholm.

“We have a strong balance sheet, so within reasonable limits we feel comfortable making acquisitions immediately if the right opportunity arises,” Blecko said. “So far, it has been natural for us to expand in eastern Europe.”

Securitas, the world’s second-largest security-services company, separated from Loomis in late 2008 by giving stock in the unit to shareholders. The armored-car operator, based in the Stockholm suburb of Solna, operates in 14 countries after buying Czech cash-handling company Fenix in October. The U.S. is its only market outside Europe.

Loomis rose as much as 0.5 krona, or 0.6 percent, to 90.50 kronor and was unchanged at 90 kronor as of 10:50 a.m. in Stockholm trading. The shares have gained 15 percent this year, valuing the company at 6.57 billion kronor ($944 million).

The company said today that it’s aiming for earnings before interest, taxes and amortization of at least 10 percent of sales by 2014, compared with 7 percent in 2009. The margin in the first nine months of this year was 7.8 percent.

Loomis may add Germany, Italy and Ireland, and is looking at Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, to build up its western European business, Blecko said. The company, which also has operations in Slovakia, isn’t interested in entering Russia or other former Soviet republics, he said.

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