This year’s sales and earnings reach new record high
MSAB helps law enforcement agencies to become more effective in their efforts to fight crime. We do this successfully, so successfully in fact that we can for the 13th year in a row report increased sales with satisfactory profitability. This year we can also report new records for sales and earnings.
For whole-year 2017, sales grew 25 percent to SEK 301.8 (242.4) million. EBIT increased to SEK 68.9 (58.5) million, corresponding to an EBIT margin of 22.8 (24.1) percent. During the year, we made significant investments, primarily in our products and markets.
A few years ago, there were some questions about whether phones would become so secure that there was a risk that market growth for mobile forensic solutions could decline. The fact is that more and more digital devices are locked down harder by various types of encryption and other security measures. That suppliers of digital devices want to protect their users’ data is natural and commendable – but not new. Various types of protection were already in place in 2003 when we launched the first version of XRY.
In light of the above reasoning, we can conclude that MSAB will continue to infuse the market with innovative solutions that attract new and existing customers. For us, it is just as important today as it was in the past to continue to lead development in how investigating authorities can access and manage information in the devices that police are confiscating.
MSAB’s products can access information in more phones, apps, and other types of products than ever before. And we are successful in educating the police in how they should handle the phones during the early stages of investigation. Best practices applied reduce the risk of phones being erased remotely and/or locked down so hard that it becomes extremely time consuming to get past the safeguards.
The world is becoming digitalised at an ever-increasing pace. Few things have changed society as rapidly as smart phones. Now we see the next wave of digitalisation in everything from smart watches, connected refrigerators, self-driving cars and drones. We are still in the early stages of the IoT (Internet of Things), where everything is connected thus leaving a multitude of digital traces that are highly valuable in criminal investigations.
During the year, MSAB has successfully added different types of IoT devices. We have already developed solutions for mobiles, cloud data, USB memories, smart watches, GPSs, automobiles, smart TVs and drones. Drones can be used in many ways, for transport of illicit goods and crossing borders, but also as carriers of chemicals or explosives to cause harm.
All the world’s police forces face significant challenges. Independent research reveals just how the performance of many police forces is deteriorating. In Sweden, the solution rate for reported crime has dropped to under fifteen percent.
Police have an obvious challenge to adapt at the same fast pace as society in general when it comes to digitalisation. Our view is that the police will have no choice but to adapt to the new reality and to greater extent be forced to prioritise the digitalisation of their operations. We are confident that this will lead to greater efficiency, increase the number of crimes solved, and ultimately lead to a safer society based on the rule of law.
My firm opinion is that, just like society in general, the police will also go through a digital revolution where they will prioritise investment in digital investigative activities and law enforcement in a whole other way. When this happens, the market for MSAB and MSAB Ecosystem will be much greater than anything we previously dared to imagine.
MSAB’s work is long-term and we will continue to invest in growth and development to consolidate our position as a leading actor in a growing market. But our development is rarely linear or even. Thus, the company must be assessed and valued based on a longer period than just a single quarter.
I’m looking forward to an exciting and challenging 2018.
Stockholm, February 2018
Chief Executive Director