CEO Lauri Veijalainen, Financial Statements Bulletin 2016 (15.2.2017):
I’m encouraged by the financial development achieved in 2016. The Group’s adjusted operating result improved by nearly EUR 50 million, producing a positive operating result after two years of heavy losses. Our improved profitability has reinforced our confidence that we are on the right path. The department stores’ offering is now focused on fashion, beauty, food and home products, and complemented by cafés, products and services from numerous attractive partners.
Lindex continued to be the Group’s most profitable division in 2016. Its operating profit was up by EUR 10 million to EUR 55 million and it achieved its best ever sales for the first half of the year. Real Estate continued its positive development and increased its operating profit and also the fair value of Stockmann’s properties improved. Also, Stockmann Retail’s operating result improved significantly, by around EUR 20 million, but was still negative. The department stores improved their results, particularly in the last quarter of the year which ended up with a solid operating profit of EUR 14 million. Operating costs were down significantly due to the efficiency programme, and the improved gross margin. There is still a lot of work to be done to make the department store business profitable by the end of 2018, but I am confident that this target can be reached as planned.
Stockmann will open a totally new department store in Tapiola in March. We will focus on offering inspirational customer experiences, appealing high-quality selections with dozens of new brands and excellent customer service. The speed will be increased further to achieve the turnaround and to redeem our promises to our customers, as well as to provide more reasons to visit our stores.