Tue March 7 12:00 am 2000 in category Stock exchange releases
NOKIAN TYRES PLC Stock Exchange Bulletin 7 MARCH 2000 8.00 a.m. 1/1


Nokian Tyres strengthens its retail network, which is the largest in the Nordic countries, by purchasing Rengasmestarit-Kumi-Helenius Group that has 31 tyre retail outlets in Finland. After the acquisition, Nokian Tyres' retail network covers the whole Finland. The purchase price is 8.3 million euros and the company is sold by Mr. Matti Kupiainen and his children.

The purchase price will be paid in cash in instalments during March. The profit of Rengasmestarit-Kumi-Helenius Group will be consolidated into Nokian Tyres at the latest on 1 March 2000. The acquisition needs to be approved by Finnish competition authorities

The main offices of Rengasmestarit Group, founded in 1966, are in the towns of Kuopio and Rovaniemi. In 1999, the company's net sales amounted to approximately 34 million euros and it employed approximately 240 people. During recent years, the company has showed good results.

After the acquisition, Nokian Tyres will have a total of 153 sales outlets in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Estonia and Latvia. In 1999, net sales from retail stood at 100 million euros. The target for net sales from retail in 2000 is 200 million euros. In 1999, Nokian Tyres' retail operations employed approximately 800 people. After acquiring Rengasmestarit-Kumi-Helenius Group Nokian Tyres' share of specialised tyre retail business in Finland will raise to 30% and the number of tyre retail outlets will grow to 69.

Unifying and developing the retail function and expanding the network particularly in Sweden by a few minor company purchases are Nokian Tyres' short term targets. Coming actions will include, for example, clarifying the roles of retreading activities, spare parts activities and real estate.

With a retail network of its own, Nokian Tyres secures its position and the continuous growth of sales on the strategically important home market area. For a tyre manufacturer, retail operations are also a direct communications channel with the end users. An extensive retail network also means synergy advantages in purchasing, marketing and administration.

Nokian Tyres continues developing its retail network to have a product range with about 50% Nokian brand tyres and 50% of other brands. Two thirds of the company's net sales will continue to come from outside the company's own retail network.

As the proportion of retail has increased substantially, the future emphasis of Nokian Tyres' profits will be increasingly on the final few months of the year. Retail operations have been set the same growth and profitability targets as other Nokian Tyres business areas.

Nokian Tyres plc

Raila Hietala-Hellman
Vice President, Public Information

Further information: Lasse Kurkilahti, President and CEO, or Juhani Kyrklund, Director, tel. +358 3 3407 111.