Ahold repurchased 2,232,557 Ahold common shares for € 29.67 million between February 17 and 21, 2014

Zaandam, the Netherlands, 2014-2-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — Ahold has repurchased 2,232,557 Ahold common shares in the period from February 17, 2014 up to and including February 21, 2014.

The shares were repurchased at an average price of € 13.2919 per share for a total consideration of € 29.67 million. These repurchases were made as part of the € 500 million share buyback program announced on February 28, 2013 as increased by € 1.5 billion to a total amount of € 2 billion announced on June 4, 2013.

The total number of shares repurchased under this program to date is 84,191,673 common shares for a total consideration of € 1,067.09 million.

During the share buyback program, Ahold publishes a press release every Monday with a weekly update. Click here to view all the relevant information of these these weekly updates. Separate weekly press releases are available upon request. Please send an email to communications@ahold.com if you would like to receive one or more of these weekly releases.

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BRC Global Standards announced the launch of whistleblower hotline in English, Spanish and Mandarin

LONDON, 2014-2-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — BRC Global Standards has announced the availability of a 24/7 telephone hotline – TELL BRC – offering a confidential reporting service hotline for employees, suppliers, clients and other stakeholders to report concerns they may have about wrongdoing in a manufacturing site that is certificated against a BRC Global Standard.

The service is being provided in three languages – English, Spanish and Mandarin and will be launched on Monday 24 February 2014.

More about TELL BRC
• A confidential, easy to use, anonymous global service
• All incidents will be investigated and resolved in a timely, effective and efficient fashion by BRC Global Standards compliance department
• Ability to track an incident from report to closure

Mark Proctor CEO of BRC Global Standards said “We are launching this service to open a confidential communication channel between individuals who work in the retail supply chain and the BRC to allow them to inform us if they should experience wrongdoing at a BRC certificated site. The service has been developed with the whistleblower in mind to encourage them to come forward”.

About BRC’s Global Standards
BRC Global Standards is the world’s largest provider of safety and quality standards’ programs for food manufacture, packaging, storage and distribution. The standards are generated with the help of technical specialists, retailers, manufacturers and certification bodies from around the world, ensuring that all standards are based on practicality, rigour and clarity.

The BRC Global Standards’ certification scheme offers comprehensive support to help new and established businesses achieve and maintain their quality and safety aims.

For more information, please visit the BRC Global Standards website.

tellbrc

Media Contacts:
BRC Press Office +44 (0)20 7854 8924 / +44 (0)7921 605544

Philippines: SM Investments Corporation signed with University of the Philippines to build PHP400 million professional schools building in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City

Pasay City, Philippines, 2014-2-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — SM Investments Corporation (SM) has inked a memorandum of agreement with the University of the Philippines for the construction of a PHP400 million professional schools building in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

Under the agreement, SM and SM Prime Holdings, Inc. have committed to supervise the construction and delivery of the nine-storey building and all its facilities which include classrooms, function rooms, a multi-purpose hall, auditorium, libraries, a computer laboratory, faculty and student lounges, cafeteria, coffee shop, two basement parking floors and administration facilities, among others.

“My father Henry Sy, Sr. strongly believes that poverty should never be a hindrance to good education. As a young boy, he was a self-starter, a dreamer and one whose life is a living testimony that education can empower anyone to rise from poverty and deprivation. Having grown out of abject poverty, my father simply knew that he had to work harder than the rest of his classmates just to be able to go to school. He taught himself to ignore the despair surrounding him, and dreamt of a much better life for him, his family and for this country,” SM Prime Holdings, Inc. President Hans T. Sy said during the signing ceremony.

“This is the kind of legacy he passed on to us, his family and the whole SM organization, and the kind of legacy that we would like to share with all Filipinos. UP is one of the institutions we hold in high regard and one that we trust to keep Mr. Henry Sy, Sr.’s legacy alive,” Mr. Sy said.

UP is SM’s long-time partner school in the nationwide college scholarship program of SM Foundation, Inc. Through this program, SM has and continues to provide free college education to thousands of deserving children coming from financially challenged families. This program is deeply rooted on empowering our youth, giving them hope, honing their true potential and investing both in their future and that of the whole country.

Every year, more than 40% of SM scholars graduate with Latin honors. Currently, SM Foundation has 1,300 scholars nationwide and 1,700 scholar-graduates and donated and constructed a total of 58 school buildings with 144 classrooms to date.

SM is a leading conglomerate in the Philippines with substantial interests in retail, banking and property development. SM steadily evolved and progressed from its humble beginnings as a modest shoe store in 1958 to one of today’s largest and most well-known Philippine corporations. It was listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange in 2005, and owns blue-chip listed firms SM Prime Holdings, BDO Unibank and China Banking Corporation. In property, SM Prime has become one of the largest real estate conglomerates in the country and in Southeast Asia with interests in malls, office buildings, resorts, hotels and convention centers.

# # #

For further information, please contact:
Ms. Corazon P. Guidote
Senior Vice President for Investor Relations
SM Investments Corporation
cora.guidote@sminvestments.com
Tel. No. 857-0117
www.sminvestments.com

First row seated from left:  Marianne M. Guerrero, SM Investments Corporation (SMIC) Senior Vice President for the Legal Department; Jose T. Sio, SMIC Executive Vice President and Chief Finance Officer; Hans T. Sy, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. President;  Alfredo E. Pascual, University of the Philippines (UP) President; Elvira Zamora, UP Vice President for Development ; Danny Uy, UP Vice President for Legal Affairs    Second row standing from left: Architect Gil L. Coscolluela of W.V. Coscolluela & Associates; Hans T. Sy, Jr. Vice President of SM Engineering and Design Department;  Architect Gary L.  Coscolluela of W.V. Coscolluela & Associates

First row seated from left: Marianne M. Guerrero, SM Investments Corporation (SMIC) Senior Vice President for the Legal Department; Jose T. Sio, SMIC Executive Vice President and Chief Finance Officer; Hans T. Sy, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. President; Alfredo E. Pascual, University of the Philippines (UP) President; Elvira Zamora, UP Vice President for Development ; Danny Uy, UP Vice President for Legal Affairs
Second row standing from left: Architect Gil L. Coscolluela of W.V. Coscolluela & Associates; Hans T. Sy, Jr. Vice President of SM Engineering and Design Department; Architect Gary L. Coscolluela of W.V. Coscolluela & Associates

Philippines: SM Prime Holdings, Inc. reported combined net earnings of PHP16.27 billion in 2013

Pasay City, Philippines, 2014-2-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SM Prime), one of the leading property developers in Southeast Asia, reported combined net earnings of Php16.27 billion in 2013.

Consolidated revenues rose 5% to Php59.79 billion from Php57.22 billion a year ago. Rental revenues accounted for 54% of the total, and grew by 11% to Php32.20 billion from Php28.95 billion in 2012.

The increase was primarily due to the full-year effect of new malls opened in 2012, namely SM City Olongapo, SM City Consolacion, SM City San Fernando, SM City General Santos, SM Lanang Premier, and the opening in 2013 of SM Aura Premier. Excluding the new malls and expansions, rental revenues grew 7%. SM Prime’s shopping malls in China also sustained their profit growth, with net income amounting to Php958 million.

Cinema ticket sales increased by 8% to Php3.74 billion from Php3.48 billion in 2012, as SM Prime opened additional digital cinemas at the new malls. This allowed simultaneous nationwide releases and more blockbuster movies screened, both local and international.

Amusement and other revenues likewise increased by 40% to Php3.08 billion from Php2.21 billion in 2012. The increase was mainly due to opening of new amusement rides in SM by the Bay and the SkyRanch in Tagaytay, as well as the increase in advertising income and sponsorship revenues.

The full-year recognition of revenues from Two-Ecom, which began operations in mid-2012 and is now 98%-occupied, also helped push up rental revenues from commercial operations by 14% to Php2.93 billion.

Real estate sales for 2013 stood at Php20.78 billion. Three projects were launched in 2013, namely: Grass Phase 2, Shore and Trees. These projects are expected to contribute significantly to revenues starting in 2014. Gross margins improved to 42% versus 37% in 2012.

“Our consolidated financial results in 2013 were within our expectations. We expect the Philippine economy to sustain its growth momentum in 2014 and create more demand for our property offerings. We will continue to pursue our expansion plans and look for new

growth opportunities. We sincerely thank our stakeholders for believing in our vision of becoming a world-class Filipino brand,” said SM Prime President Mr. Hans T. Sy.

Consolidated operating expenses increased by 12% to Php23.72 billion in 2013 while consolidated costs of real estate was at Php11.94 billion, a 15% decrease from Php14.02 billion in 2012.

In May 2013, SM initiated a corporate restructuring exercise to consolidate the SM Group’s property companies and real estate assets under SM Prime. The reorganization paved the way for the delisting of shares of SM Development Corp. and Highlands Prime Inc., the merger of SM Land and SM Prime with the latter as the surviving entity, and the injection of the SM group’s real estate assets and shares in property companies into the mall developer.

On October 10, 2013, the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the reorganization.

SM Prime’s consolidated net income in 2013 would have increased by 8% to Php17.55 billion were it not for the one-time restructuring cost of Php1.28 billion. This was the first time the holding firm reported the consolidated financial performance of its mall, residential, office and tourism development businesses.

– End –

For further inquiries:
Teresa Cecilia H. Reyes
Vice President – Finance
SM Prime Holdings, Inc.
E-mail: teresa.cecilia.reyes@smprime.com
Tel. no.: 831.1000 loc. 7820

Kesko Corporation’s shareholders invited to Annual General Meeting on 7 April 2014 at Messukeskus Helsinki’s Conference Centre

Helsinki, Finland, 2014-2-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — Notice is given to Kesko Corporation’s shareholders of the Annual General Meeting which will be held inMessukeskus Helsinki’s Conference Centre, Messuaukio 1 (Conference Centre entrance), Helsinki, on 7 April 2014 at 13.00.The reception desks for those registered for the meeting are open, voting tickets are provided and coffee is served from 12.00 EET.

A. Items on the agenda of the General Meeting

1. Opening of the meeting

2. Calling the meeting to order

3. Election of persons to scrutinize the minutes and to supervise the counting of votes

4. Recording the legality of the meeting

5. Recording the attendance at the meeting and adoption of the list of votes

6. Review by the President and CEO

7. Presentation of the 2013 financial statements, the report by the Board and the
   auditor’s report

8. Adoption of the financial statements

9. Distribution of the profits shown on the balance sheet and resolution on the
   payment of dividend

The Board proposes that a dividend of €1.40 per share be paid for the year 2013 on the basis of the adopted balance sheet. The dividend would be paid to shareholders registered in the company’s register of shareholders kept by Euroclear Finland Ltd on the record date for the payment of dividend, 10 April 2014. No dividend is paid on own shares held as treasury shares by the company on the record date for the payment of dividend. The Board proposes that the dividend pay date be 17 April 2014.

10. Resolution on discharging the Board members and the Managing Director from liability

11. Resolution on the Board members’ fees and the basis for reimbursement of their expenses

Shareholders who jointly represent over 10% of the votes carried by Kesko Corporation shares have informed the company that they will propose at the Annual General Meeting that a resolution be made to leave the Board members’ remuneration and the basis for reimbursement of their expenses unchanged. The fees and the basis for reimbursement of expenses are as follows:

The Board Chair is paid an annual remuneration of €80,000, the Board Deputy Chair €50,000, and a Board member €37,000. A meeting fee of €500 per meeting is paid for a Board meeting and its Committee’s meeting, with the exception that the Chair of a Committee who is not the Chair or the Deputy Chair of the Board is paid €1,000 per Committee meeting. Daily allowances are paid and travel expenses are reimbursed to Board members in accordance with the general travel rules of Kesko.

12. Resolution on the number of Board members

Shareholders jointly representing over 10% of the votes carried by Kesko Corporation shares have informed the company that they will propose at the Annual General Meeting that a resolution be made to leave the number of members of the Board unchanged at the present seven (7).

13. Election of the Board members

According to Article 4 of the Articles of Association, the term of office of a Board member is three (3) years, starting at the close of the General Meeting electing the member and expiring at the close of the third (3rd) Annual General Meeting after the election.

The Annual General Meetings held on 8 April 2013 and 16 April 2012 resolved the number of Board members to be seven (7). The Annual General Meeting held on 16 April 2012 elected seven (7) Board members for terms of office expiring at the close of the 2015 Annual General Meeting in accordance with the Articles of Association. The Board members elected then were Mr Esa Kiiskinen, Mr Ilpo Kokkila, Mr Tomi Korpisaari, Ms Maarit Näkyvä, Mr Seppo Paatelainen, Mr Toni Pokela and Ms Virpi Tuunainen.

14. Resolution on the auditor’s fee and the basis for reimbursement of expenses

The Board’s Audit Committee proposes to the General Meeting that the auditor’s fee and expenses be reimbursed according to invoice approved by the company.

15. Election of the auditor

The Board’s Audit Committee proposes to the General Meeting that the firm of auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers Oy, Authorised Public Accountants, be elected as the company’s auditor. PricewaterhouseCoopers Oy have announced that if they are elected as Kesko’s auditor, Johan Kronberg, APA, will be their auditor with principal responsibility.

16. Donations for charitable purposes

The Board proposes that the General Meeting authorise the Board to decide on the donations in a total maximum of €300,000 for charitable or corresponding purposes until the Annual General Meeting to be held in 2015, and to decide on the donation recipients, purposes of use and other terms of the donations.

17. Closing of the meeting

B. General Meeting documents

The above resolution proposals on the agenda of the General Meeting, as well as this notice of the meeting are available on Kesko Corporation’s website at www.kesko.fi/yhtiokokous/. Kesko Corporation’s financial statements, the report by the Board and the auditor’s report will be made available on the company’s website on 6 March 2014. The resolution proposals and the other documents mentioned above will also be available at the General Meeting, and copies of the documents and of this notice of the meeting will be sent to shareholders on request. The minutes of the General Meeting will be made available to shareholders on the company’s website on 17 April 2014 at the latest.

C. Instructions for meeting participants

1. Right to participate and registration

Shareholders have the right to participate in the General Meeting if they are registered as shareholders in the company’s register of shareholders kept by Euroclear Finland Ltd on 26 March 2014. Shareholders whose shares are registered on their personal Finnish book-entry accounts are registered in the company’s register of shareholders.

A shareholder wishing to participate in the General Meeting should register for it no later than 2 April 2014 at 16.00 EET by which time the registration will have to be received at the company. The registration can be made either

  1. through the website at www.kesko.fi/yhtiokokous/ following the instructions provided there
  2. by e-mail to keskoyhtiokokous@ kesko.fi
  3. by telephone +358 1053 23211 (from Monday to Friday between 9 and 16)
  4. by fax +358 1053 23421, or
  5. by letter to Kesko Corporation, Group Legal Affairs, Satamakatu 3, FI-00016 Kesko.

The registration information should include the shareholder’s name, personal ID/business ID, address, telephone number and a possible assistant’s or proxy representative’s name and personal ID. The personal information will only be used in connection with the General Meeting and when handling related necessary registrations.

2. Holder of a nominee registered share

A holder of a nominee registered share has the right to participate in the General Meeting by virtue of the shares which would entitle him/her to be registered in the shareholder register kept by Euroclear Finland Ltd on 26 March 2014. In addition, the participation requires that the shareholder is temporarily registered in the company’s shareholder register by virtue of this shareholding no later than 2 April 2014 at 10.00 EET. With respect to nominee registered shares, this constitutes the registration for the General Meeting.

Holders of nominee registered shares are advised to request instructions for registering in the shareholder register, submitting their proxy documents and registering for the General Meeting from their custodian banks well in advance. The account management organisation of the custodian bank should request a holder of a nominee registered share wishing to participate in the General Meeting to be registered in the company’s temporary shareholder register no later than the above deadline.

3. Proxy representative and proxy documents

A shareholder may participate in the General Meeting and exercise his/her rights at the meeting by way of proxy representation. The proxy representative of a shareholder will have to produce a dated proxy document, or otherwise in a reliable manner demonstrate his/her right to represent the shareholder. If a shareholder participates in the General Meeting by means of several proxy representatives representing the shareholder with shares at different securities accounts, the shares by which each proxy representative represents the shareholder are to be identified in connection with the registration.

Possible proxy documents are to be delivered in originals to the above address before the end of the registration period.

4. Other information

Pursuant to Chapter 5, Section 25 of the Limited Liability Companies’ Act, a shareholder who is present at the General Meeting has the right to request information with respect to the matters to be dealt with at the Meeting.

As at the publication date of the notice of the General Meeting, Kesko Corporation has a total of 31,737,007 A shares and 68,180,753 B shares, or 99,917,760 shares in aggregate. The A shares carry a total of 317,370,070 votes, and the B shares carry 68,180,753 votes, or the aggregate number of votes carried by the shares is 385,550,823.

Helsinki, 3 February 2014

KESKO CORPORATION

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Further information is available from Senior Vice President, Group General Counsel Anne Leppälä-Nilsson, tel. +358 105 322 347.

Kesko Corporation

Merja Haverinen
Vice President, Group Communications

DISTRIBUTION
NASDAQ OMX Helsinki
Main news media
www.kesko.fi

 

Walmart announced $1.75 million in grants to help African Americans Pursue Higher Education, Job Training and Placement

BENTONVILLE, Ark., 2014-2-24 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today, Walmart furthers its commitment to provide greater access to opportunities across 20 U.S. communities with the announcement of $1.75 million in grants from the Walmart Foundation to three of the nation’s leading nonprofit organizations: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)National Urban League (NUL) and United Negro College Fund (UNCF). The grant to UNCF will fund a program to help assure historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) continue as a source of quality degrees for African American students. In addition, the grants to NUL and NAACP will fund programs to help individuals receive the support they need to secure and build meaningful careers through training and placement assistance, and help businesses create more job opportunities.

There is an increase in demand today for diverse talent in the workforce, according to the inaugural Diversity Jobs Index and Report from the Professional Diversity Network, Inc. To meet this demand, Walmart continues to help African Americans access career opportunities through work with strategic partners and by fostering diversity and inclusion among its associates and suppliers.

“With today’s economic climate there is a growing need to empower individuals in communities nationwide with access to opportunities that will help them live better. Part of this work will come from helping businesses understand and unlock the powerful results that a more diverse workforce has to offer,” said Tony Waller, senior director, corporate affairs, Walmart. “By helping one individual at a time build a successful career, we are growing a more competitive work environment. A competitive environment ignites innovation, which helps build stronger communities and, ultimately, a stronger America.”

“Since 2006, we have been able to increasingly grow our workforce training program through ongoing support from the Walmart Foundation and subsequently have exceeded expectations of the number of individuals we’ve been able to serve,” said Marc H. Morial, president and chief executive officer of the National Urban League. “This new grant will help us further strengthen our workforce development programs, and continue helping African Americans and other communities of color across the United States secure economic independence and empowerment.”

The Walmart Foundation grant of $500,000 to UNCF will help16 historically black colleges and universities achieve long-term financial stability so they can continue providing African American students with access to higher education. In addition, a $1 million grant to NUL and a $250,000 grant to NAACP will fund programs to provide career counseling and job placement support, and help businesses evaluate current hiring policies.

Learn more about the Walmart commitment to career opportunities. For more information about the Walmart Foundation visit foundation.walmart.com.

About Philanthropy at Walmart  
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief & Healthy Eating, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Together, they have donated more than 1 billion meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart’s giving, visit foundation.walmart.com.

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