May 17, 2016 / 12:57 PM / 2 years ago

Saab CEO confident on Brazil Gripen deal despite political turmoil

LINKOPING, Sweden, May 17 (Reuters) - Sweden’s Saab is keeping a close eye on political turmoil in Brazil, which has ordered 36 of its Gripen fighters, but does not expect the crisis to undermine the programme, Chief Executive Hakan Buskhe said.

“All of us are looking at what is happening in Brazil, but I am not having sleepless nights,” Buskhe told reporters, asked whether the crisis could crimp its growth there.

Brazil has said it is interested in buying two further batches of Gripens.

Buskhe said Saab was carrying out a continuous review of its 600 mainly defence products, weighing each one according to 10 parameters, and aimed to shrink this number while remaining a “broad company”.

He said Saab would probably make more disposals than acquisitions as it fine-tunes its portfolio but that the value of acquisitions would be higher.

A spokesman said Saab was conducting a rolling product review with no fixed date for completion.

Saab’s Buskhe also said the group would maintain its research and development at 25 percent of turnover.

“We will continue to grow our sales and we will increase our R&D in absolute terms,” Buskhe said. (Reporting by Tim Hepher; editing by Bjorn Rundstrom and Niklas Pollard)

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