Business Round-Up: PostNord finally delivering profits

Positive signs from a number of struggling business sectors, and also a reason for artists to smile

For the first time in 15 years, the Danish side of PostNord has posted a profit, albeit a meagre one.

In the third quarter of this year, the company came out 12 million kroner in the black – reversing years of losses, and a significant improvement on the 37 million kroner deficit last year.

New growth
Peter Kjær Jensen, the manager of the Danish side of the company, expressed his delight.

“We are incredibly proud of the result we have come out with. Partly on the financial side, but we are almost even more proud that the business is growing for the first time in 15 years,” he said.

Compensation and cuts helped
In recent years, PostNord in Denmark has cut the number of its employees from more than 10,000 to around 6,000.

Lowering costs significantly, this drove a great deal of the new success, whilst a 5 percent increase in sales on this time last year also helped.

The small profit is due in part to the fact that the company has received state-support in the form of compensation for postal transport.

No more SOS from SAS
Scandinavian Airlines this morning announced the successful implementation of its capitalisation plan after bondholders subscribed for 56.4 percent of shares in a recent bond conversion offering. In a statement, the airline declared that the wider recapitalisation plan was now back on track – part of efforts to rescue SAS after a difficult year. In total, the recapitalisation plan restores SAS’s equity to the tune of roughly 10 billion Danish kroner, whilst diluting its shares by 95 percent.

Nordea powers out of pandemic
Following a couple of difficult quarters for the bank, Nordea has announced net profits of 6.2 billion kroner for the third quarter. It marks a welcome change from previous quarters deeply affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Operating profits are up 24 percent on the same period last year, and 255 percent on the previous quarter. The result comes as a surprise to many analysts who expected a far weaker performance from the banking group.

Fraud figurehead ready for lawsuit
Sanjay Shah, a British citizen currently living in Dubai who stands accused of orchestrating a significant case of tax fraud at the expense of the Danish state, has told Børsen he is ready to fight a legal case in the event that charges are brought against him in Denmark. From 2012 to 2015, suspected dividend tax fraud cost the Danish treasury at least 12.7 billion kroner, and Shah is believed to be a key player in an organised network responsible for much of this. Back in August, a case against him in Dubai was dismissed on grounds of insufficient evidence.

Good for the soul … and the economy
New research from the University of Southern Denmark suggests that, in big cities, a rich cultural scene is a significant driver of economic growth. Looking to the US, Professor Karol Jan Borowiecki describes “a clear connection between artistic presence and entrepreneurial activities. The large clusters of artists in the big cities have helped create one of the building blocks of New York’s economic development.” It is thought the ability to attract people with creative dreams provides the perfect opportunities for economic growth more generally.