Handheld wins third consecutive 'Gazelle Company' Award, recognising continued annual sales growth

Since 2000, Dagens Industri (DI), the Nordic business magazine, has named the fastest-growing companies in Sweden as "Gazelle companies." Despite economic turmoil and a challenging sales environment, Handheld has made the list again in 2010 the third consecutive year it has met the award's standards for growth. The basic criteria for 2010 Gazelle companies is an increase in sales every year from 2006 to 2009 while remaining profitable. Fewer companies have been awarded the Gazelle designation in recent years, according to DI.
"With economic turmoil and a 5 percent dip in the GDP in 2009, this year is an acid test of Gazelle companies, to show how they have managed through extremely tough times," the magazine reports. "Historically the Gazelles get through economic dips in the world market better than other companies, because they find new business ideas, new markets and new customers."
The term "Gazelles" was created by American scholar David Birch of Cognetics, Inc., who differentiated fast-growing companies (Gazelles) that create the most new jobs in the economy from the "Elephants" the huge companies that are always striving for efficiency and therefore reducing the number of jobs. He considered the Gazelles to be the dynamic intermediate layer of the industry.
"For Handheld to be named a Gazelle company for the third year in a row is an exceptional honor," says Jerker Hellstrm, CEO of Handheld Group. "It's a testament to our ongoing success, which is the result of a great staff that works extremely hard to achieve our shared goals. We've been fortunate to continue growing even in challenging times, and we foresee more positive results ahead."
The Gazelle criteria are strict; fewer than 1 percent of Sweden's joint-stock companies meets the requirements to classify as Gazelle companies, according to a survey done by the Stockholm School of Economics.
According to DI, a Gazelle company must meet at least the following criteria:
Its sales must have increased continually for the past three years

For this same period, it must have at least doubled its overall sales

Its total operating results for the past four financial years must be positive

It must have essentially grown organically, not through acquisitions and mergers

It must have sound finances

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