STOCKMANN plc STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE November 15, 2004, at 12.00
STOCKMANN DECLARES A 1.00 EURO BONUS DIVIDEND
Stockmann will pay a bonus dividend of EUR 1.00 per share. Hobby Hall will
be developed as part of the Stockmann Group. Raija Saari, M.Sc. (Econ.),
has been appointed managing director of Hobby Hall.
Stockmann's Board of Directors will propose to the extraordinary general
meeting to be convened on December 8 that a bonus dividend of EUR 1.00 per
share be paid for the financial year ended December 31, 2003, in addition
to the EUR 1.35 (0.90 + 0.45) dividend that was paid in the spring. The
total amount of the proposed dividend payout is EUR 52.8 million. The
reasons cited by the Board of Directors for its proposal are the company's
good earnings trend, strong financial position and high equity ratio as
well as the unused tax surpluses from previous years.
In accordance with the strategy statement published previously by the
Board of Directors, during the autumn the Group has looked into the
alternatives for developing Hobby Hall. As a result of this exploratory
work, it has been decided to continue developing Hobby Hall as part of the
Stockmann Group. Hobby Hall's operations have gone through a major
restructuring over the past year and the earnings on operations are
expected to head upward in the latter part of the year. Divesting Hobby
Hall is not, in the Board's estimation, at present a realistic alternative
on satisfactory terms for Stockmann.
Raija Saari, M.Sc. (Econ.), has been appointed as Hobby Hall's new
managing director and a member of the Stockmann Group's Management
Committee, effective from today. Most recently, she has held the position
of purchasing director with Tiimari Oyj and prior to this she has also
worked as purchasing manager for the Stockmann Department Store Division's
International Operations unit.
Hobby Hall's present managing director, Henri Bucht, a Stockmann Group
executive vice president and the CEO's alternate, has been assigned to
special duties and will resign from the company's employ on June 30, 2005.
Jukka Hienonen, the Group's executive vice president and head of the
Department Store Division, has been appointed the CEO's alternate,
effective from today, November 15, 2004.