Decisions by Stockmann’s Annual General Meeting
Helsinki, Finland, 2013-03-21 15:00 CET (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --
STOCKMANN plc, Decisions of annual general meeting 21.3.2013 at 16:00 EET
The Annual General Meeting of Stockmann plc, held in Helsinki on 21 March 2013, adopted the financial statements for the financial year 1 January - 31 December 2012, granted discharge from liability to the responsible officers and resolved to pay a dividend of EUR 0.60 per share for the financial year 2012. The General Meeting also decided on the composition and remuneration of the Board of Directors and the selection and remuneration of the auditor in accordance with the proposals presented.
In his review at the Annual General Meeting, CEO Hannu Penttilä went through main events during Stockmann’s 150th anniversary year and the outlook for the near future. In 2012 the share of the international revenue exceeded the revenue in Finland for the first time. Operating profit of the Russian operations became positive, even with the termination of the loss-making Bestseller franchising included. All the department stores in Russia clearly improved their results. Russian operations will play a key role in the Group's earnings in the coming years.
A strong focus on the Group’s all online stores will continue in 2013. In total, the capital expenditure during the year will be approximately EUR 60 million, i.e. on the previous year's level. The evaluation of the commercial value of the Nevsky Centre shopping centre in St Petersburg is currently ongoing. The aim is to resolve a possible real estate transaction during 2013. The transaction would include the department store in St Petersburg to remain in the shopping centre through a long-term lease agreement.
The development of the retail market in the Nordic countries in the first months of 2013 gives cause for concern. Stockmann's revenue has been lower than expected, in particular in Finland, where consumer confidence and purchasing power are at a low level. A possible new raise of the VAT in this economic situation would cut consumers' purchasing power even further and it would have a significant impact on employment situation in the trade sector.
Also Stockmann has to pay special attention to the cost-effectiveness of its operations. In order to achieve saving, both cost reductions and structural measures are needed. The first-quarter operating result will, as in the previous years, be negative due to normal seasonal variation. Stockmann's target is to increase the Group's revenue for the full year, excluding the terminated franchising operations, and to improve the operating profit. The targets can be achieved if the markets, especially in Finland, become more favorable than in the beginning of the year.
Payment of dividends
The Annual General Meeting resolved that a dividend of EUR 0.60 per share be paid for the 2012 financial year. The dividend will be paid on 18 April 2013 to those shareholders who on the record date for the dividend payout, 26 March 2013, 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 Rector and Professor Eva Liljeblom, Managing Director Kari Niemistö, Charlotta Tallqvist-Cederberg, M.Sc. (Econ.), Christoffer Taxell, LL.M., Carola Teir-Lehtinen, M.Sc., and Managing Director Dag Wallgren were re-elected as members of the Board of Directors. Following the announcement by the member of the, Board Kaj-Gustaf Bergh, that he will no longer be available as a member, Mr. Kjell Sundström, CEO of the Åbo Akademi Endowment was elected as a new member. Mr Sundström has previously held several management positions within the financial sector. 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.
Jari Härmälä, Authorised Public Accountant was re-elected as the regular auditor, and Anders Lundin, Authorised Public Accountant, was elected as a new regular auditor. KPMG Oy Ab, a firm of authorised public accountants, will continue as the deputy auditor. The auditors will be paid in accordance with invoice.
Organisational meeting of the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors, which convened after the Annual General Meeting, re-elected Christoffer Taxell, LL.M., as its Chairman and Managing Director Kari Niemistö as its Vice Chairman. The Board has assessed the independence of its members in accordance with Recommendation 15 in the Finnish Corporate Governance Code. According to the assessment all the eight members of the Board elected at the Annual General Meeting on 21 March 2013 are independent of the company. Five of the company's board members are independent of major shareholders (Eva Liljeblom, Kari Niemistö, Per Sjödell, Kjell Sundström and Carola Teir-Lehtinen).
The Board of Directors elected Christoffer Taxell as Chairman of the Appointments and Compensation Committee and Kari Niemistö, Charlotta Tallqvist-Cederberg and Dag Wallgren as the other members of the committee.
Nora Malin, Director, Corporate Communications, tel. +358 9 121 3558