DECISIONS BY STOCKMANN'S ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Helsinki, Finland, 2011-03-22 18:00 CET (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- STOCKMANN plc, Decisions of annual general meeting 22.3.2011 at 19.00 EET

The Annual General Meeting of Stockmann plc, held in Helsinki on 22 March 2011, adopted the financial statements for the financial year 1 January - 31 December 2010, granted release from liability to the responsible officers and resolved to pay a dividend of EUR 0.82 per share for 2010. The General Meeting decided on dividend payment, the composition and remuneration of the Board of Directors and the selection and remuneration of the auditor in accordance with the proposals presented.

CEO’s review

In his review at the Annual General Meeting, CEO Hannu Penttilä stated that 2010 will go down in the Group’s history as the year in which a major investment phase came to an end. The capital expenditure on fixed assets over the last five years and the acquisition of the Lindex fashion chain have together totalled EUR 1.6 billion. This expenditure has improved Stockmann’s future competitive capacity, noted Penttilä.

One of the most substantial capital expenditure projects of recent years was the enlargement and renovation project at the Helsinki city centre department store, which was commenced in 2002 and completed in November 2010. Since the completion of the project, the department store’s relative sales growth has risen to rank top among Stockmann’s department stores in Finland.

The Nevsky Centre shopping centre, which was completed in November 2010 on Stockmann’s own site in St Petersburg, was a growth investment whose fair value, in Penttilä’s assessment, has risen substantially since the shopping centre was opened.

Lindex, which was acquired in 2007, accounted for nearly 60% of the Group’s operating profit in 2010. Lindex is very well positioned to continue its international expansion, and the first store in Poland - the fashion chain’s newest market area - was opened in March 2011. Seppälä has also invested in the expansion of its store network especially in Russia.

Despite the capital expenditure and pre-opening costs (approximately EUR 10 million in 2010), earnings performance began to rise in 2010. However, the international financial crisis caused strategic plans to be postponed by two years. The financial crisis is not over yet, and consumer behaviour may be affected by quick and unexpected changes in the market as well as by recent market events. Stockmann estimates that its revenue and operating profit will grow in 2011. In accordance with the previously issued profit forecast, the first-quarter operating result will be negative due to normal seasonal variation in the market. According to Penttilä, the Group has a good chance of improving its operating profit from the second quarter onwards.

In 2011 and in the next few years, capital expenditure will be at a significantly lower level than during the past five years. At the end of March 2011, a new Stockmann department store will be opened in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Capital expenditure projects in the next few years include enlargement and renovation at the Tampere, Tapiola, Tallinn, Turku and Riga department stores, the renewal of the department stores’ enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and the expansion of the Lindex and Seppälä fashion chains. Penttilä also noted that opening a new department store in Moscow city centre is a possibility if a suitable location is found.

Payment of dividends

The Annual General Meeting resolved that a dividend of EUR 0.82 per share be paid for the 2010 financial year. The dividend will be paid on 8 April 2011 to those shareholders who on the record date for the dividend payout, 25 March 2011, are entered in the shareholder register kept by Euroclear Finland Ltd.

Composition and remuneration of the Board of Directors

The Annual General Meeting resolved, in accordance with the proposal of the Board’s Appointments and Compensation Committee, that eight members be elected to the Board of Directors. In accordance with the Committee’s proposal, Managing Director Kaj-Gustaf Bergh, Managing Director Erkki Etola, Professor Eva Liljeblom, Managing Director Kari Niemistö, Managing Director Charlotta Tallqvist-Cederberg, Christoffer Taxell, LL.M., and Carola Teir-Lehtinen, M.Sc., were re-elected and Dag Wallgren, Managing Director of Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland r.f., was elected as a new member of the Board of Directors. The Board members’ term of office will continue until the end of the next Annual General Meeting.

It was resolved to keep the Board members’ remuneration unchanged, and the remuneration will continue to be paid mainly in shares.

Auditors

Jari Härmälä, Authorised Public Accountant, and Henrik Holmbom, Authorised Public Accountant, were re-elected as the regular auditors. KPMG Oy Ab, a firm of authorised public accountants, will continue as the deputy auditor. The auditor will be paid in accordance with a reasonable invoice approved by the Board of Directors.

Organisational meeting of the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors, which convened after the Annual General Meeting, re-elected Christoffer Taxell as its Chairman and Erkki Etola as its Vice Chairman. The Board of Directors elected Christoffer Taxell as Chairman of the Appointments and Compensation Committee and Erkki Etola, Charlotta Tallqvist-Cederberg and Dag Wallgren as the other members of the committee.


Further information:
Hannu Penttilä, CEO, tel. +358 9 121 5801

www.stockmanngroup.fi


STOCKMANN plc

Hannu Penttilä
CEO

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