Sponda Plc Stock Exchange Release 3 September 2013 at 9:05 am
Sponda Plc’s strategy and strategic goals
On 3 September 2013, the Board of Directors of the property investment company Sponda Plc confirmed the company’s new strategy. The main goals of the strategy are simplification of the business structure, more focused property ownership and profitable growth.
Focal points for growth will be office properties and shopping centres and property development serving these segments. As for areas, Sponda will focus on prime areas in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, particularly in the central business district and Ruoholahti, as well as Tampere.
The most significant changes to Sponda’s current strategy are that Sponda is planning to exit both the Russian market and the Real Estate Funds business in the next 3–5 years. In addition, the company is planning to sell its entire logistics property portfolio as well as property ownership in Turku. In order to make the operations clearer, the name of the Office and Retail Properties segment will be changed to Office Properties segment.
Sponda is planning to exit the Russian business operations in 3–5 years’ time. This means that no new investments will be made in the region and current properties, most of which are located in Moscow, will be sold when market conditions allow.
In the Real Estate Funds business unit, no new real estate funds will be established. Those existing funds in which Sponda has minority holding will be managed as before until the end of the term of each fund. Depending on the fund, the term will end between 2014 and 2019.
The capital to be released will be invested in Sponda’s main markets in Helsinki and Tampere. Investment objects include both property development projects and office and shopping centre properties.
Sponda’s prospects for 2013 remain unchanged. The company’s long-term goals for equity ratio and dividends also remained unchanged:
Kari Inkinen, President and CEO, comments:
“Simplification of Sponda’s business structure increases the company’s attractiveness as an investment object. I believe that by focusing Sponda’s property portfolio on offices and shopping centres in Sponda’s traditionally strong areas, we can improve the occupancy rate of our properties and further strengthen our market position in growth areas in Finland.
In the current market conditions, the leasing of office and retail properties requires more special expertise than before, and I believe that our operational focus plan will fulfil exactly this need.
Profitability has been good both in the Russia and the Real Estate Funds business units. However, achieving sufficient growth in these business units has been challenging, and their share of the entire Group’s revenue has remained fairly small. Consequently, we have decided that investing the capital tied up in these business operations into Sponda’s main markets in Finland is an efficient solution.”
Sponda has arranged a conference call in English for analysts and investors to take place today, 3 September 2013, starting at 10:30 EET. You can participate in the call by calling the number +44 (0)20 7038 9550, code: 936112, and watch a webcast at http://qsb.webcast.fi/s/sponda/sponda_plc/
Helsinki, 3 September 2013
Board of Directors
Additional information: Kari Inkinen, President and CEO, tel. +358 400 402 653
Sponda Plc is a property investment company that specialises in commercial properties in the largest cities in Finland and Russia. Sponda’s business concept is to own, lease and develop office, retail and logistics properties in environments that promote the business success of its clients. The fair value of Sponda’s investment properties is approximately EUR 3.3 billion and the leasable area is around 1.5 million m².