Securitas profits from the lack of caritas (Latin for truth, unity, and charity) in human nature. Securitas is one of the world's top security services firms, providing guards to banks, retailers, large and small businesses, and residential customers in more than 50 countries, mainly in North America and Europe. It also offers electronic systems and security software. Ownership of US security firms Pinkerton's and Burns International Services give Securitas a dominant position in the US security guard services market. Securitas operates through four divisions: Security Services North America, Security Services Europe, Security Services Ibero-America (Latin America), and Mobile and Monitoring (alarm systems).
In addition to guarding, the company provides specialized consulting and investigation services through Pinkerton's, which operates as part of Security Services North America. The company's Mobile and Monitoring segment operates in Europe, and includes alarm systems monitoring and mobile security officers who attend to multiple customers within a specified geographical area.
Although historically it has focused on physical security services such as fences, gates, and turnstiles, the company its shifting strategy to complement its human capital with technical security services. Securitas' software allows for reporting and communications functions and verification systems. Other products include electronic systems, such as alarms, access control, and surveillance cameras.
Securitas operations function through a decentralized organization consisting of more than 1,700 branch offices. In addition to operations in Europe and North America, Securitas does business in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay. It is also entering new markets in the Middle East and Africa.
While revenue increased slightly in 2011, the company's net income dropped to $264 million from some $307 million in 2010. Income growth slowed as Securitas was negatively affected by a European economy in turmoil. Specifically, the company was hurt by the loss of a few large contracts in 2011 at Security Services Europe, as well as a discrepancy between price increases and wage cost increases. In addition, it faced increased costs associated with integrating and restructuring as a result of acquisition activity.
The acquisitive company has a history of purchasing security firms to expand its international presence. By mid-2012 it had snapped up firms in Argentina, Croatia, Indonesia, the Netherlands, and Spain. In 2011 Securitas made nearly 20 acquisitions; a key purchase that year was the US-based Security Consultants Group (SCG) for some $22.4 million. SCG provides armed and unarmed security guards for protection of federal buildings, opening the door to the US government security market.
In 2010 the company acquired 15 companies, six of which were located in emerging markets, including Thailand, South Africa, and Sri Lanka. That year it also acquired UK's Reliance Security Group in a deal valued at nearly $69 million. Reliance provides building maintenance, catering, cleaning, grounds maintenance, and reception services, and Securitas made the deal to position itself as one of the largest security services companies in the UK.
The family of Gustaf Douglas (former vice chairman of Securitas) owns about 30% of the company. – less