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 November 26, 2015 - 1:15 AM EST
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Aspo Capital Markets Day: Aspo to increase its minimum objective for operating profit and make business-specific investments in growth

ASPO PLC     STOCK EXCHANGE RELEASE      November 26, 2015, at 08:15 a.m.

Aspo Capital Markets Day: Aspo to increase its minimum objective for operating profit and make business-specific investments in growth

As announced previously, Aspo Group will today, on November 26, 2015, starting at 9:00 a.m., be holding a Capital Markets Day in Helsinki. At the event, the management of Aspo will present the company's strategy and the development phases of its business operations. In addition, the management of Aspo's business operations will present the strategy of each business and their position in their various market areas. Finnish presentation material will be available today at 9:00 a.m. on the company's website at

Aspo will revise its financial objectives. With the current structure, the company is looking for an operating profit rate of 7 percent. The previous target was to reach an operating profit rate that would be closer to 10 percent than 5 percent. Other financial objectives, i.e. an average return on equity of over 20 percent and gearing of up to 100 percent, will remain unchanged.

Aspo Group's strategy will not be changed. The key strengths of the strategy are diversity, operating in eastern growth markets and the ability to implement structural changes. Aspo will keep its dividend distribution policy unchanged and, on average, will distribute at least half of the annual profit in dividends.

The guidance for 2015 repeated in the January-September interim report will remain unchanged. Aspo's result will increase from 2014 or remain at the same level.

New multi-year contract with SSAB enables investments in the world's first LNG-fueled large bulk carriers

ESL Shipping, a carrier of dry bulk cargo, and the steel producer SSAB have signed a long-term frame contract on the sea transportation of SSAB's incoming raw materials in the Baltic Sea and from the North Sea. The current total sea transportation volume within the scope of the contract is estimated to be six to seven million tons a year. 

As a result of the contract, ESL Shipping has designed and ordered the world's first large bulk carriers fueled by liquefied natural gas (LNG). The new vessels are the most effective in the world in terms of energy consumption and technology. This investment raises the global dry cargo sea transportation capacity to a whole new sustainable level when it comes to environmental impact. CO2 emissions per transported ton of cargo will decrease by more than 50 percent compared with the current technology. The two ice-reinforced dry cargo vessels of 25,600 DWT have been designed in Finland by Deltamarin Ltd and will be built in China at Sinotrans & CSC Qingshan Shipyard. The vessels will start operating in the Baltic Sea in early 2018. The total value of the investment is approximately EUR 60 million. The investment cash flow will be divided progressively between 2015 and 2018.  

In addition, ESL Shipping has signed a contract on the transportation of biofuels with AB Fortum Värme. The contract provides ESL Shipping with access to the renewable energy transportation market. Transportation to the new Värtahamnen energy port in Stockholm will start later this year.

Leipurin to expand to out-of-home eating and recruit a new managing director

Leipurin, a provider of raw materials, machinery and services for the food industry, will present its revised strategy at the Capital Markets Day. The most significant change is that the company will expand its services from industrial baking to out-of-home eating in the hotel, restaurant and catering market. Out-of-home eating will grow rapidly in Leipurin's market area, while the growth of the bakery industry will remain moderate.

Leipurin's Board of Directors has started a process to recruit a new managing director to support the implementation of the new strategy. Managing Director Paul Taimitarha will continue in his position until the appointment of the new managing director, after which he will be appointed member the Board of Directors of Leipurin Plc.

Telko to expand in Finland, Kaukomarkkinat to provide solutions for mobile data-based work

The operations of Telko, an expert in industrial plastic raw materials and chemicals, will grow in Finland. Finland's market leader Castrol has assigned Telko as a representative of its vehicle and motor oil business, totaling EUR 11 million in net sales. The operations will start during the first quarter of 2016.

Kaukomarkkinat, focusing on professional and industrial electronics, has also revised its strategy. The company will transform from a technical wholesaler into a provider of solutions for mobile data-based work. Its existing customer references and its position as the market leader in Finland in the field of rugged computers and tablets, enable profitable growth in the digitizing working environment.

The Board of Directors of Kaukomarkkinat will be changed to support the new strategy. Aki Ojanen, CEO of Aspo Plc, will continue as chairman and Pirja Heiskanen, vice president at Futurice Oy, will continue as an ordinary member. Hanna-Mari Parkkinen, group business design director at Fjord Design & Innovation, part of Accenture Interactive, has been appointed a new member of the Board of Directors.

ASPO Plc  

Aki Ojanen

Further information:
Aki Ojanen, CEO of Aspo Plc, tel. +358 9 521 4010,

Key Media

Aspo is a conglomerate that owns and develops business operations in Northern Europe and growth markets focusing on demanding B-to-B customers. Our strong company brands - ESL Shipping, Leipurin, Telko and Kaukomarkkinat - aim to be the market leaders in their sectors. They are responsible for their own operations, customer relationships and the development of these. Together they generate Aspo's goodwill. Aspo's Group structure and business operations are continually developed without any predefined schedules.

This announcement is distributed by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions on behalf of NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions clients.
The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Aspo Oyj via Globenewswire


Source: Thomson Reuters ONE (November 26, 2015 - 1:15 AM EST)

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