Clothing giant H&M’s AGM on Wednesday was the ninth under Karl-Johan Persson as CEO. He is now one of the longest serving CEOs on the OMXS30. However investors with shares in H&M during his steerage have made a bad deal. The shares have had an annual total return of under seven per cent, which is eleven percentage points lower than the annual return of the Stockholm stock market total return index, SIX Return.
To boost confidence institutional owners want DI to report more information about the progress of the company’s concept brands (see SPR 10/5 Early Ed.). Neither chair Stefan Persson or CEO Karl-Johan Persson gave interviews at the AGM, but Karl-Johan Persson said, “We listen to good ideas, take them in and discuss whether we can do better. It is always a balancing act. We think that it is most important for the shareholders that we have lots of focus on the customers and the business. We have annual and biannual press conference when I meet investors and analysts.”
Yesterday Ericsson issued a profit warning resulting in its biggest plunge on the stock market in nine years as the company shed 20.2% and a share value of SKr 40 billion went up in smoke.
According to preliminary figures Ericsson’s operating results for Q3 were SKr 0.3 billion. Growth in turnover was 14% as network income fell by 19-30% during the quarter. Organic growth has fallen eight quarters in a row. The gross margin shrank from 32.2% to 28.4%. It has not looked this bad for Ericsson since just after the IT bubble burst.
Acting CEO Jan Frykhammar blames poorer Brazilians, Russians and Arabs in the Middle East after the fall in oil prices and a stronger dollar. European operators are also putting their purchases of Ericsson’s software on hold.
Enterprise minister Mikael Damberg did not want to comment on the stock fall but predicts a few tough years ahead for the company while Moderate leader Anna Kinberg Batra says it is a reminder of the pressure on Swedish industry.