STOCKMANN plc STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE March 30, 2004, at 16.00
CEO'S REVIEW IN STOCKMANN'S ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING ON MARCH 30, 2004
Stockmann's first-quarter profit on ordinary operations will improve
markedly on last year's figure, said Stockmann's CEO Hannu Penttilä in his
review at the company's Annual General Meeting in Helsinki on March 30,
2004. First-quarter operating profit will nevertheless fall short of last
year's result because the capital gain booked on the disposal of the
Tapiola department store property was included in the first-quarter result
In his review of the year at Stockmann's Annual General Meeting in
Helsinki on March 30, 2004, CEO Hannu Penttilä observed that the Group
will henceforth have only limited possibilities for organic growth in the
domestic market. Growth will be sought abroad - in Russia and the Baltic
countries. Last year, sales abroad accounted for 11 per cent of aggregate
sales. The proportion will rise quickly this year because the Riga
department store will be in operation for its first full year, and in
Moscow two new department stores and 2-3 new Zara stores will be opened.
Seppälä too is continuing its expansion in Latvia and will open its first
stores in Russia as well. Penttilä believes that the Stockmann Group will
not have any difficulty reaching its strategic objective of generating at
least a third of sales and earnings abroad by 2008.
Penttilä says that the outlook for the Stockmann Group this year and in
the near future is promising. The Company has had a very good start to the
year, with the department stores and Seppälä performing especially well.
The sales trend in March has also been strong and first-quarter profit on
ordinary operations will improve markedly on last year's figure. First-
quarter operating profit will nevertheless fall short of last year's
result because the capital gain booked on the disposal of the Tapiola
department store property was included in the first-quarter result last
The growth in the Stockmann Group's sales this year is estimated to be at
least on a par with 2003 and to top 1.8 billion euros. Stockmann's target
is for the Group to post higher profit before extraordinary items in 2004
than it did in 2003.