• Cash and cash equivalents and short-term investments amounted to SEK 3,448.4M (3,438.4) as at 31 March 2023.
• Operating profit was SEK -2.5M (-2.4).
• Financial income and expenses was SEK 11.6M (0.0).
• Profit after tax was SEK 9.1M (-2.4).
• Earnings per share was SEK 0.26 (-0.07).
Stock markets rose during the first quarter of the year. In the US, the S&P 500 was up 7.0 per cent and the Nasdaq a whopping 20.5 per cent. A small number of primarily larger companies accounted for the absolute majority of these increases and large tech companies saw their valuations increase the most during the quarter. In March, a number of banks in the US faced liquidity problems, which spread to Europe, where UBS took over its smaller rival Credit Suisse. One reason for the bank crisis was the sharp rise in interest rates in the space of less than a year. However, the instability in the banking sector resulted in an adjustment of expectations in respect of continued rate rises, which in turn increased interest in larger growth-oriented tech companies.
In Sweden, the SIX RX rose 8.7 per cent in the first quarter. However, inflation stubbornly remained at a relatively high level, which is projected to result in further rate rises. This will likely have a negative impact on growth going forward as consumption and investment appetite will be dampened.
In an economic landscape where access to capital is limited and costs more, we anticipate companies having to make major adjustments. Profitability comes before growth and financial flexibility through a strong balance sheet is increasingly important. These are ingredients that ACQ views positively and the work to identify a target company continues. In conclusion, I am pleased to be able to say that the “new interest rate environment” has had a positive effect on ACQ’s results and that we were able to report a profit for the quarter.
CEO ACQ Bure AB