Reviews by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lemminkäinen Corporation at the Annual General Meeting
LEMMINKÄINEN CORPORATION STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE 9 APRIL 2014 AT 3:00 P.M.
REVIEWS BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF LEMMINKÄINEN CORPORATION AT THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Lemminkäinen Corporation's Annual General Meeting will commence today at 3:00 p.m. The meeting will be opened by Berndt Brunow, Chairman of the Board of Directors. He will also present the CEO's review of the financial statements for 2013, operating environment and outlook.
In his opening speech, Brunow comments on the changes in Lemminkäinen's management: "We Board members considered that the difficult market situation and the challenges posed by it require a new kind of leadership to secure Lemminkäinen's future. Based on the January-February performance, the company is heading in the right direction, but the change has to be accelerated."
In the CEO's review, Brunow states that the operational result for 2013 was extremely unsatisfactory. The biggest disappointments were Norway and Russia. "The results do not match our long-term financial targets or our own ambition. At the same time, uncertainty in the market has increased. The crisis in Ukraine has not had effects on housing sales in St. Petersburg, at least for the time being. On the other hand, the weakening of the rouble can be seen in the euro-denominated net sales and operating profit. In Finland, the economy is recovering slower than previously predicted. The few positive things in the construction sector include apartment block construction, especially in the Helsinki metropolitan area, and significant traffic infrastructure projects, such as the City Rail Loop whose preparation is proceeding."
"The year 2014 has begun as planned. The results of the efficiency programmes are starting to show in Finland. Correct measures are being made in Norway to improve profitability. Now, it is important to keep up the good pace and continue the determined renewal of Lemminkäinen," Brunow says.
In order to ensure that the targets for 2014 are achieved, Lemminkäinen has launched the Deliver 2014 programme, focusing on the profit-making ability in Norway and management of the Russian market risks as well as optimising the cost structure of the entire Group. "We can be more efficient than we currently are in all of our operating countries, including Finland. A lighter cost structure will also improve our competitiveness," Brunow says.
Lemminkäinen retains the profit guidance issued in connection with the publication of the financial statements bulletin for 2013 unchanged: Lemminkäinen estimates that its 2014 net sales will be slightly lower than in 2013 but its operating profit will improve clearly on 2013. In this guidance, the operating profit for 2013 refers to figures excluding the costs of the damages-related legal proceedings (EUR 65.6 million) or write-downs (EUR 20.1 million)
Lemminkäinen will publish its interim report for January-March on 30 April 2014.
Berndt Brunow, Chairman of the Board of Directors, interim President & CEO
Tel. +358 2071 54518 or +358 2071 54855
Katri Sundström, Vice President, Investor Relations
Tel. +358 2071 54813
NASDAQ OMX Helsinki
Together with our customers we create conditions that make living, working and travelling functional, safe and healthy. We operate in northern Europe and employ about 7,800 experts. In 2013, our net sales were about EUR 2.2 billion. Lemminkäinen Corporation's share is quoted on NASDAQ OMX Nordic Exchange Helsinki. www.lemminkainen.com