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Report: Saab turned a profit in 2009. Wait, wha?!

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Report: Saab turned a profit in 2009. Wait, wha?!

by Chris Shunk (RSS feed) on Jul 28th 2010 at 10:31AM

Swedish site The Local claims that Saab produced $531 million in black ink in 2009. Not possible, right? General Motors was, after all, all too ready to walk away and let the Born from Jets automaker die a pauper's death. Well, it seems as though all automaker profits come chock-full of asterisks, and the half a billion dollar profit is certainly no different. Saab was reportedly able to make with the dough by brokering deals with creditors to write off 75 percent of its debt and by selling technology, tooling, and manufacturing rights to Chinese automaker BAIC for $164 million.

Without Saab's extraordinary efforts to remain in business, the company would have lost $752 million in 2009. The Swedish automaker sold a mere 38,756 vehicles during the tumultuous year, generating revenue of just $820 million. We're thinking that there is little chance Saab will be able to pull big-time kroner out of its collective hat in 2010, so the automaker will probably have to rely on its new-for-2010 9-5 and newly leaner organization to book profits in the future.



Saab turns profit after 2009 crisis

Published: 27 Jul 10 16:26 CET

Dictionary tool Double click on a word to get a translation

Crisis-hit carmaker Saab Automobile turned a profit of 3.9 billion kronor ($531 million) in 2009, but only thanks to deals with its creditors and a deal to sell equipment to a Chinese automaker, according to the company’s annual report, released on Tuesday.

Saab’s profit is due primarily to deals it struck with companies to which it owed money. These so-called composition arrangements provided revenues of 8.2 billion kronor on the company’s balance sheet. The sale of tools and technology to Chinese carmaker BAIC generated 1.2 billion kronor. Without these two sources of income the company would have made a loss of 5.5 billion kronor.

The number of cars sold fell from about 93,000 to just 38,756. This led turnover to fall 61 percent to 6 billion kronor.

“2009 was not a normal year. Saab went in and out of a reconstruction phase. 75 percent of the debts were written off and we sold tools to BAIC. The annual report has limited relevance, as it does not show Saab’s global results,” the company’s head of information Eric Geers told Dagens Industri.

Last Christmas almost saw the end of sixty years of car production by Saab, when General Motors announced it was starting to wind down the company. Saab was only saved when a last-minute bid by Spyker was accepted by the US giant.



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